NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Optimal Primaries

Patrick Hummel, Richard Holden

NBER Working Paper No. 19340
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):   LE   POL

We analyze a model of US presidential primary elections for a given party. There are two candidates, one of whom is a higher quality candidate. Voters reside in m different states and receive noisy private information about the identity of the superior candidate. States vote in some order, and this order is chosen by a social planner. We provide conditions under which the ordering of the states that maximizes the probability that the higher quality candidate is elected is for states to vote in order from smallest to largest populations and most accurate private information to least accurate private information.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19340

Published: Hummel, Patrick & Holden, Richard, 2014. "Optimal primaries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 64-75.

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