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Majority-efficiency and Competition-efficiency in a Binary Policy Model

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  • Stefan Krasa
  • Mattias Polborn

Abstract

We introduce a general framework in which politicians choose a (possibly infinite) sequence of binary policies. The two competing candidates are exogenously committed to particular actions on a subset of these issues, while they can choose any policy for the remaining issues to maximize their winning probability. Citizens have general preferences over policies, and the distribution of preferences may be uncertain. We show that a special case of the model, the weighted-issue model, provides a tractable multidimensional model of candidate competition that can generate (i) policy divergence in pure and mixed strategies, (ii) adoption of minority positions, and (iii) inefficient outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-03/cesifo1_wp1958.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1958.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1958

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Keywords: multidimensional policy; voting; citizen-candidate; normative analysis of political competition;

References

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  1. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  2. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
  3. Steven Callander, 2005. "Electoral Competition in Heterogeneous Districts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1116-1145, October.
  4. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
  5. Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. " Elections with Privately Informed Parties and Voters," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 147-67, July.
  6. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2006. "Partisan Politics and Aggregation Failure with Ignorant Voters," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000828, David K. Levine.
  7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, December.
  9. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó & Jason Snyder, 2007. "Political Dynasties," NBER Working Papers 13122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bernhardt, Dan & Duggan, John & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "Private polling in elections and voter welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2021-2056, September.
  11. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  12. Micael Castanheira, . "Why Vote for Losers?," Working Papers 125, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. Navin Kartik & R. Preston McAfee, 2007. "Signaling Character in Electoral Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 852-870, June.
  14. Bernhardt, Dan & Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2008. "Political polarization and the electoral effects of media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1092-1104, June.
  15. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  16. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
  17. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
  18. Kittsteiner, Thomas & Eyster, Erik, 2007. "Party platforms in electoral competition with heterogeneous constituencies," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 2(1), pages 41-70, March.
  19. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2010. "Competition between Specialized Candidates," CESifo Working Paper Series 2930, CESifo Group Munich.

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