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Elections with platform and valence competition

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  • Ashworth, Scott
  • Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan
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    Abstract

    We study a game in which candidates first choose platforms and then invest in costly valences (e.g., engage in campaign spending). The marginal return to valence depends on platform polarization--the closer platforms are, the more valence affects the election outcome. Consequently, candidates without policy preferences choose divergent platforms to soften valence competition. Moreover, exogenous increases in incentives for valence accumulation lead to both increased valence and increased polarization--the latter because candidates seek to avoid the costs of extra valence. As a result, the increase in valence is smaller than it would have been with exogenous platforms. Finally, the model highlights the overlooked substantive importance of common modeling assumptions. Changing the source of uncertainty in our model from noise around the median voter's ideal point to a shock to one candidate's valence (as is common in the literature) leads to complete platform convergence for all parameter values.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

    Volume (Year): 67 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (September)
    Pages: 191-216

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:67:y:2009:i:1:p:191-216

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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    References

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    10. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hummel, Patrick, 2012. "Deliberative democracy and electoral competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 646-667.
    2. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Equilibrium in a discrete Downsian model given a non-minimal valence advantage and linear loss functions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 150-153.
    3. Michalis Drouvelis & Alejandro Saporiti & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2011. "Political Motivations and Electoral Competition: Equilibrium Analysis and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 682, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Caselli, Francesco & Cunningham, Tom & Morelli, Massimo & Moreno de Barreda, Inés, 2012. "Signalling, Incumbency Advantage, and Optimal Reelection Thresholds," CEPR Discussion Papers 8832, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2012. "Spatial electoral competition with a probabilistically favored candidate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 96-98.
    6. Timothy Lambie-Hanson, 2013. "Campaign contributions as valence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 3-24, October.
    7. Agustín Casas, 2013. "Partisan politics : parties, primaries and elections," Economics Working Papers we1315, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    8. Tomer Blumkin & Volker Grossmann, 2010. "May increased partisanship lead to convergence of parties’ policy platforms?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 547-569, December.
    9. Martin Gregor, 2013. "The Optimal Ballot Structure for Double-Member Districts," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp493, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
    10. M. Roth, 2011. "Resource allocation and voter calculus in a multicandidate election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 337-351, September.
    11. Matias Iaryczower & Andrea Mattozzi, 2012. "The pro-competitive effect of campaign limits in non-majoritarian elections," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 591-619, April.
    12. Francesco Caselli & Tom Cunningham & Massimo Morelli & Inés Moreno de Barreda, 2012. "Signalling, Incumbency Advantage, and Optimal Reelection Rules," CEP Discussion Papers dp1122, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Pablo Amorós & M. Puy, 2013. "Issue convergence or issue divergence in a political campaign?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 355-371, June.
    14. Hummel, Patrick, 2010. "On the nature of equilibria in a Downsian model with candidate valence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 425-445, November.
    15. Evrenk, Haldun, 2010. "Three-Candidate Spatial Competition When Candidates Have Valence: Asymmetric Voter Density and Plurality Maximization," Working Papers 2010-1, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.
    16. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Mixed equilibriums in a three-candidate spatial model with candidate valence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 101-120, January.

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