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Spatial Competition Between Two Candidates of Different Quality: The Effects of Candidate Ideology and Private Information

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Abstract

This paper examines competition in a spatial model of two-candidate elections, where one candidate enjoys a quality advantage over the other candidate. The candidates care about winning and also have policy preferences. There is two-dimensional private information. Candidate ideal points as well as their tradeoffs between policy preferences and winning are private information. The distribution of this two-dimensional type is common knowledge. The location of the median voter's ideal point is uncertain, with a distribution that is commonly known by both candidates. Pure strategy equilibria always exist in this model. We characterize the effects of increased uncertainty about the median voter, the effect of candidate policy preferences, and the effects of changes in the distribution of private information. We prove that the distribution of candidate policies approaches the mixed equilibrium of Aragones and Palfrey (2002a), when both candidates' weights on policy preferences go to zero.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 573.03.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: 23 May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:573.03

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Keywords: candidate quality; spatial competition; purification;

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References

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  1. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
  2. Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2003. "The Effect of Candidate Quality on Electoral Equilibrium: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 59, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  4. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Baumann & Justin Svec, 2013. "The Impact of Political Uncertainty: A Robust Control Approach," Working Papers 1306, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  2. Norman Schofield & Alexei Zakharov, 2010. "A stochastic model of the 2007 Russian Duma election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 177-194, January.
  3. Thomas R. Palfrey, 2005. "Laboratory Experiments in Political Economy," Working Papers 91, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  4. Jenny De Freitas, 2009. "Political support for the private system to finance political parties," DEA Working Papers 35, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.

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