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Political Motivations and Electoral Competition: Equilibrium Analysis and Experimental Evidence

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  • Michalis Drouvelis
  • Alejandro Saporiti
  • Nicolaas J Vriend

Abstract

We study both theoretically and experimentally the complete set of Nash equilibria of a classical one-dimensional, majority rule election game with two candidates, who might be interested in power as well as in ideology, but not necessarily in the same way. Apart from obtaining the well known median voter result and the two-sided policy differentiation outcome, the paper uncovers the existence of two new equilibrium configurations, called 'one-sided' and probabilistic' policy differentiation, respectively. Our analysis shows how these equilibrium configurations depend on the relative interests in power (resp., ideology) and the uncertainty about voters' preferences. The theoretical predictions are supported by the data collected from a series of laboratory experiments, as we observe convergence to the Nash equilibrium values at the aggregate as well as the individual levels in all treatments, and the comparative statics effects across treatments are as prediced by the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 11-15.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:11-15

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Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
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Keywords: Electoral competition; Power; Ideology; Uncertainty; Nash equilibrium;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Jon X. Eguia & Antonio Nicolò, 2011. "On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 234, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  2. Alejandro Saporiti, 2014. "Power sharing and electoral equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 705-729, April.

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