NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Persuasion in Politics

Kevin Murphy, Andrei Shleifer

NBER Working Paper No. 10248
Issued in January 2004
NBER Program(s):   EFG

We present a model of the creation of social networks, such as political parties, trade unions, religious coalitions, or political action committees, through discussion and mutual persuasion among their members. The key idea is that people are influenced by those inside their network, but not by those outside. Once created, networks can be rented out' to politicians who seek votes and support for their initiatives and ideas, which may have little to do with network members' core beliefs. In this framework, political competition does not lead to convergence of party platforms to the views of the median voter. Rather, parties separate their messages and try to isolate their members to prevent personal influence from those in the opposition.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10248

Published: Murphy, Kevin M. and Andrei Shleifer. "Persuasion In Politics," American Economic Review, 2004, v94(2,May), 435-439. citation courtesy of

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