Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 2 > Issue 1

Nomination Processes and Policy Outcomes

Matthew O. Jackson, Department of Economics, Stanford University, Laurent Mathevet, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Kyle Mattes, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences,
Suggested Citation
Matthew O. Jackson, Laurent Mathevet and Kyle Mattes (2007), "Nomination Processes and Policy Outcomes", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 2: No. 1, pp 67-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00006043

Publication Date: 01 Mar 2007
© 2007 M.O. Jackson, L. Mathevet and K. Mattes
Electoral institutions,  Political parties,  Formal modelling,  Campaign finance


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In this article:
The General Model
Nominations with a Fixed Party Structure
Equilibrium Definitions for the Three Nomination Procedures
Nomination by Party Leaders
Nomination by a Vote of Party Members
Nomination by Spending Competition
Endogenous Parties
Endogenous Parties and Nomination by Voting
Endogenous Parties and Nomination by Spending Competition
Concluding Remarks
Proofs of the Propositions
Nomination by Party Leaders and Strong Equilibria


We provide a set of new models of three different processes by which political parties nominate candidates for a general election: nominations by party leaders, nominations by a vote of party members, and nominations by a spending competition among potential candidates. We show that more extreme outcomes can emerge from spending competition than from nominations by votes or by party leaders, and that non-median outcomes can result via any of these processes. When voters (and potential nominees) are free to switch political parties, then median outcomes ensue when nominations are decided by a vote but not when nominations are decided by spending competition.