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A Dynamic Model of Democratic Elections in Multidimensional Policy Spaces

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  • John Duggan

    ()
    (W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy, 107 Harkness Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0158)

  • Jeffrey S. Banks

    (Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

Abstract

We propose a general model of repeated elections. In each period, a challenger is chosen from the electorate to run against an incumbent politician in a majority-rule election, and the winner then selects a policy from a multidimensional policy space. Individual policy preferences are private information, whereas policy choices are publicly observable. We prove existence and continuity of equilibria in “simple” voting and policy strategies; we provide examples to show the variety of possible equilibrium patterns in multiple dimensions; we analyze the effects of patience and office-holding benefits on the persistence of policies over time; and we identify relationships between equilibrium policies and the core of the underlying voting game. As a byproduct of our analysis, we show how equilibrium incentives may lead elected representatives to make policy compromises, even when binding commitments are unavailable. We provide an informational story for incumbency advantage. Finally, we give an asymptotic version of the median voter theorem for the one-dimensional model as voters becomes arbitrarily patient.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy in its series Wallis Working Papers with number WP53.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp53

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Postal: University of Rochester, Wallis Institute, Harkness 109B Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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References

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  1. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  2. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  3. Harsanyi, John C., 1994. "Games with Incomplete Information," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  4. Boylan, Richard T & McKelvey, Richard D, 1995. "Voting over Economic Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 860-71, September.
  5. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  6. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 1999. "A Bargaining Model of Collective Choice," Working Papers 1053, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  8. McKelvey, Richard D. & Schofield, Norman., 1985. "Generalized Symmetry Conditions at a Core Point," Working Papers 552, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. Baron David & Kalai Ehud, 1993. "The Simplest Equilibrium of a Majority-Rule Division Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 290-301, December.
  10. Kramer, Gerald H., 1977. "A dynamical model of political equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 310-334, December.
  11. Jeffrey Banks & John Duggan, 2001. "A Multidimensional Model of Repeated Elections," Wallis Working Papers WP24, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  12. David Austen-Smith & Jeffrey S. Banks, 1999. "Cycling of simple rules in the spatial model," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 663-672.
  13. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  14. Bernhardt, Dan & Campuzano, Larissa & Squintani, Francesco & Câmara, Odilon, 2009. "On the benefits of party competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 685-707, July.
  15. 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.
  16. John Duggan, 2000. "Repeated Elections with Asymmetric Information," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 109-135, 07.
  17. Adam Meirowitz, 2007. "Probabilistic Voting and Accountability in Elections with Uncertain Policy Constraints," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 41-68, 02.
  18. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  19. Jeffrey Banks & John Duggan, 2006. "A Social Choice Lemma on Voting Over Lotteries with Applications to a Class of Dynamic Games," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 285-304, April.
  20. John Duggan & Mark Fey, 2006. "Repeated Downsian electoral competition," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 39-69, December.
  21. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.
  22. John Duggan & Mark Fey, . "Electoral Competition with Policy-Motivated Candidates," Wallis Working Papers WP19, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  23. Banks, Jeffrey & Duggan, John & Le Breton, Michel, 2003. "Social Choice and Electoral Competition in the General Spatial Model," IDEI Working Papers 188, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  24. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1995. "Singularity theory and core existence in the spatial model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 523-536.
  25. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  26. Schofield, Norman, 1983. "Generic Instability of Majority Rule," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 695-705, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Georges Casamatta & Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder, 2010. "Repeated electoral competition over nonlinear income tax schedules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 535-574, October.
  2. Vincent Anesi, 2010. "A New Old Solution for Weak Tournaments," Discussion Papers 2010-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. John Duggan, 2013. "A Folk Theorem for Repeated Elections with Adverse Selection," Wallis Working Papers WP63, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  4. Jean Guillaume Forand, 2010. "Two-Party Competition with Persistent Policies," Working Papers 1011, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2010.
  5. Jon Eguia, 2013. "On the spatial representation of preference profiles," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 103-128, January.
  6. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.

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