Carlos Costa, "The political economy of party building: Theory and evidence from Peru's infrastructure development programme" Party Politics, 21 (March 2015), 169-182. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol21/issue2/ ]
This article aims to understand how a nascent party can expand its support base, specifically focusing on identifying groups from whom nascent parties can secure new votes. Targeting groups of potential supporters with goods is a common strategy for parties hoping to expand. We set out to understand which groups should nascent parties target. Classic models of resource allocation are anchored in two main groups of voters: core and swing. While these models are well developed, nascent parties often don’t have core supporters. Nascent parties are still carving electoral niches and their support bases have yet to become the archetypal core group. According to classic models, nascent parties without a well-defined pool of core supporters should focus on swing groups.
Table 1: Frequency descriptive statistics
Table 2: Variable operationalization summary
Table 3: Proxy validity tests
Table 4: Table of results
Table 5: State level coefficients
Figure 1: Strongest, weakest and most robust predicted expenditures
Figure 2: La Libertad Predicted values for ICQ combinations
A question that remains unanswered here is how to convert newly acquired volatile support into steady, long-term support? Core support is better because it comes at low cost and political parties should strive to convert any higher cost support into this lower cost version. Future research that theorizes about strategies of support maintenance will greatly advance our understanding of party-building strategies. We believe that to be a natural direction of this research agenda.