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The Reputational PremiumA Theory of Party Identification and Policy Reasoning$
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Paul M. Sniderman and Edward H. Stiglitz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154145

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154145.001.0001

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The Democratic Experiment

The Democratic Experiment

A Supply-Side Theory of Political Ideas and Institutions

(p.95) Chapter 5 The Democratic Experiment
The Reputational Premium

Paul M. Sniderman

Edward H. Stiglitz

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on how to think more productively about the democratic experiment and political competence. It begins by summarizing this study's theory and findings. It then looks at the implications of both theory and findings for a supply-side theory of political competence. Finally, it presents a nice irony of democratic politics. It is well-known that limited knowledge of voters frees up elected representatives to act as they wish with minimal fear of electoral punishment. It is less well-known, though no less important, that understanding as well as ignorance of the big picture of American politics allows elected representatives a freer hand in playing the policy cards they wish to play and still win the backing of supporters of their party.

Keywords:   democratic experiment, political competence, supply-side theory, democratic politics, elected representatives, electoral punishment, American politics, party identification

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