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A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates

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  • Martin J. Osborne
  • Al Slivinksi

Abstract

We develop a model of electoral competition in which citizens choose whether or not to run as candidates; a winner implements her favorite policy. The equilibrium number of candidates depends negatively on the cost of run ning and positively on the bene ts of winning. For some parameter values all equilibria under plurality rule have exactly two candidates, whose positions are distinct. Two candidate elections are more likely under plurality rule than under a runoff system. There exists equilibria under both systems in which some candidates have no chance of winning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1995-01.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:1995-01

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  1. Martin J. Osborne, 1992. "Candidate Positioning and Entry in a Political Competition," Department of Economics Working Papers 1992-02, McMaster University.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," NBER Working Papers 2759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  5. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  6. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  7. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
  8. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
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