Skip to main content

Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Political Competence and Electoral Competition

Zuheir Desai (IE University), joint with Scott A Tyson

Tuesday 19 October 2021 14:00 - 15:30

This event is both online and in person

32L 3.05, 3rd Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars or as online and in person. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.

About this event

How does politician competence, conceptualized as the ability to effectively implement policies, affect campaign platforms and electoral competition? We develop a framework where politicians differ in terms of ideological preferences and in their ability to implement both ideological and nonpartisan policies. Our analysis identifies an important distinction between platforms and policies and generates novel empirical implications regarding the effect of competence on platforms. First, we identify conditions under which an incompetent candidate is more extreme than her competent counterpart. Second, we show that the effect of increasing the competence gap on platform polarization is contingent on the source of the increase. Finally, we find that an exogenous increase in the salience of competence can lead to extremism and polarization. Competence also introduces a role for extreme political legacies that lead to “populist” platforms where both leftist and rightist platforms are more extreme in the same direction than the voter.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room 32L 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton

Contact to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.

This event will take place in 32L 3.05, 3rd Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH. The building is labelled on the map.

LSE Campus Map