Imperfectly informed voters and strategic extremism
AbstractWe analyze a unidimensional model of two-candidate electoral competition where voters have im- perfect information about the candidates' policy proposals, that is, voters cannot observe the exact policy proposals of the candidates but only which candidate offers the most leftist/rightist platform. We assume that candidates are purely office motivated and that one candidate enjoys a valence advan- tage over the other. We characterize the unique Sequential Equilibrium in very-weakly undominated strategies of the game. In this equilibrium the behavior of the two candidates tends to maximum extremism, due to the voters' lack of information. But it may converge or diverge depending on the size of the advantage. For small values of the advantage candidates converge to the extreme policy most preferred by the median and for large values of the advantage candidates strategies diverge: each candidate specializes in a different extreme policy. These results are robust to the introduction of a proportion of well informed voters. In this case the degree of extremism decreases when the voters become more informed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper 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 938.13.
Date of creation: 14 Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Downsian model; imperfect information; advantaged candidate; maximum differentiation;
Other versions of this item:
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2013. "Imperfectly Informed Voters and Strategic Extremism," Working Papers 725, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-10-18 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CTA-2013-10-18 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-GTH-2013-10-18 (Game Theory)
- NEP-POL-2013-10-18 (Positive Political Economics)
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