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Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect
Journal of Public Economics (2006)
  • Mattias K Polborn
  • Tilman Klumpp, Indiana University
Candidates for U.S. presidential elections are determined through sequential elections in single states, the primaries. We develop a model in which candidates can influence their winning probability in electoral districts by spending money on campaigning. The equilibrium replicates several stylized facts very well: Campaigning is very intensive in the first district. The outcome of the first election then creates an asymmetry in the candidates' incentives to campaign in the next district, which endogenously increases the equilibrium probability that the first winner wins in further districts. On the normative side, our model offers a possible explanation for the sequential organization: It leads (in expectation) to a lower level of advertising expenditures than simultaneous elections. Moreover, if one of the candidates is the more effective campaigner, sequential elections also perform better with regard to the selection of the best candidate.
Publication Date
August, 2006
Citation Information
Mattias K Polborn and Tilman Klumpp. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect" Journal of Public Economics Vol. 90 Iss. 6-7 (2006)
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