Tom Waters

Tom Waters

Research Economist


MSc Economics (Distinction), University College London, 2014

BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (2.i), University of Oxford, 2012

Tom joined the IFS in 2016 and works in the Income, Work and Welfare sector. His current work includes analysis of tax and benefit policy and its effect on the income distribution. Before joining IFS he worked at the Office for Budget Responsibility and HM Treasury.



Cracking the whip: spatial voting with party discipline and voter polarization

| Journal Articles

I study a game theoretic spatial model of elections with many heterogeneous constituencies in which both party and candidate behavior are modeled. Parties choose a platform and a ‘whip rate,’ representing the proportion of final policy that will be made by the party, as opposed to by the successful candidates. Candidates are office-motivated and can choose both a platform and a level of advertising in order to defeat their opponent. It is shown that the introduction of whipping as a choice variable can cause party platforms to diverge and that parties will whip on some but not all issues, reflecting the empirical reality of parties influencing rather than determining policy outcomes exclusively.

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