Political Market Structure
NBER Working Paper No. 8371
Many political markets are essentially uncontested, in the sense that one candidate raises little (or no) money and consequently has little chance of election. This presents a puzzle in the presence of apparently low barriers to entry. Using a variant of Baron (1989) we provide a theory encompassing both contested and uncontested markets. The essential addition is the presence of fixed costs of campaigning. We show that these may be quite small and yet constitute decisive barriers to entry.