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Faculty & Research

Political social-learning: Short-term memory and cycles of polarisation

19 Sep
2023
11:20 am
Jouy-en-Josas
English

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2023-09-19T11:20:00 2023-09-19T12:35:00 Political social-learning: Short-term memory and cycles of polarisation Department of Economics and Decision Sciences Speaker : Gilat Levy (LSE) Room T-014 Jouy-en-Josas

Department of Economics and Decision Sciences

Speaker : Gilat Levy (LSE)

Room T-014

Abstract:

This paper investigates the influence of voters' short-term memory on political outcomes by considering politics as a collective learning process. We find that short-term memory may lead to cycles of polarisation and consensus among political parties' platforms. Following periods of party consensus, short-term memory implies that there is little variation in voters' data and therefore limited information about the true state of the world. This in turn allows parties to further their own interests and hence polarise by offering different policies. In contrast, periods of polarisation involve sufficient variation that allows voters to be confident about what the correct policy is, forcing parties to both offer this policy. We analyse the emergence and the nature of such cycles and examine the impact of crises on political competition through the lens of our framework.

Joint work with Ronny Razin, LSE

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2023-09-19T11:20:00 2023-09-19T12:35:00 Political social-learning: Short-term memory and cycles of polarisation Department of Economics and Decision Sciences Speaker : Gilat Levy (LSE) Room T-014 Jouy-en-Josas