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

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  • Aragones, Enriqueta
  • Palfrey, Thomas R.

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1169.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published:
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1169

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Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
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Keywords: candidate quality; spatial competition; purification;

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References

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  1. Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Enriqueta Aragones & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2002. "The Effect of Candidate Quality on Electoral Equilibrium: An Experimental Study," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 530.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  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. Thomas R. Palfrey, 2005. "Laboratory Experiments in Political Economy," Working Papers 91, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  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. 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.
  4. 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.

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