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Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Downsian Dynamics

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  • Laussel, Didier
  • Le Breton, Michel
  • Xefteris, Dimitrios

Abstract

The main purpose of this short paper is to examine how traditional Downsian dynamics (convergence of the parties to the median of the distribution) are altered by the introduction of centrifugal incentives arising from the fact that any motion towards the center induces a lost of votes at the extremes of the electorate. Our analysis provides a new rationale for platform differentiation. It also yields new insights in the case when centripetal incentives are dominant on one side of the political spectrum while centrifugal incentives take over on the other side. This may apply for instance to the 2012 French elections.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 778.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:27233

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Keywords: Electoral Competition; Mixed equilibria; Centrifugal incentives;

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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. Cancian, Maria & Bills, Angela & Bergstrom, Theodore, 1995. "Hotelling Location Problems with Directional Constraints: An Application to Television News Scheduling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 121-24, March.
  3. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2012. "Candidate quality in a Downsian model with a continuous policy space," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 464-480.
  4. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
  5. Humberto Llavador, 2001. "Electoral platforms, implemented policies and abstention," Economics Working Papers 571, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2004.
  6. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Equilibria in unidirectional spatial models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 146-149.
  7. John E. Roemer, 1997. "Political-economic equilibrium when parties represent constituents: The unidimensional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 479-502.
  8. 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.
  9. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  10. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  11. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26, January.
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