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Divergent Platforms

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  • Sophie Bade

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    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

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    Abstract

    A robust feature of models of electoral competition between two opportunistic, purely office-motivated parties is that both parties become indistinguishable in equilibrium. I this short note, I show that this strong connection between the office motivation of parties and their equilibrium choice of identical platforms depends on the following two - possibly counterfactual - assumptions: 1. Issue spaces are uni-dimensional and 2. Parties are unitary actors whose preferences can be represented by expected utility functions. The main goal here is to provide an example of a two-party model in which parties offer substantially different platforms in equilibrium even though no exogenous asymmetries are assumed. In this example, some voters’ preferences over the 2-dimensional issue space are assumed to exhibit non-convexities and parties evaluate their actions with respect to a set of beliefs on the electorate.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2011_25.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_25

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    Related research

    Keywords: Downs model; Games with Incomplete Preferences; Knightian Uncertainty; Uncertainty Aversion; Platform Divergence;

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    1. Brusco, Sandro & Dziubiński, Marcin & Roy, Jaideep, 2012. "The Hotelling–Downs model with runoff voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 447-469.
    2. Barbera, S. & Gul, F. & Stacchetti, E., 1992. "Generalized Median Voter Schemes and Committees," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 184.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    4. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2008. "Uncertainty Averse Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 77, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    5. Davis, Otto A & DeGroot, Morris H & Hinich, Melvin J, 1972. "Social Preference Orderings and Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 147-57, January.
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