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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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  1. John Duggan, 2000. "Repeated Elections with Asymmetric Information," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 109-135, 07.
  2. 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.
  3. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John & Le Breton, Michel, 2006. "Social choice and electoral competition in the general spatial model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 194-234, January.
  4. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1995. "Singularity theory and core existence in the spatial model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 523-536.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 2003. "A Social Choice Lemma on Voting over Lotteries with Applications to a Class of Dynamic Games," Working Papers 1163, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. 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.
  9. Kramer, Gerald H., 1977. "A dynamical model of political equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 310-334, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  12. Harsanyi, John C., 1994. "Games with Incomplete Information," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  13. McKelvey, Richard D & Schofield, Norman, 1987. "Generalized Symmetry Conditions at a Core Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 923-33, July.
  14. Jeffrey Banks & John Duggan, 2001. "A Multidimensional Model of Repeated Elections," Wallis Working Papers WP24, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  15. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  16. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. John Duggan & Mark Fey, 2006. "Repeated Downsian electoral competition," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 39-69, December.
  20. 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.
  21. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  22. Boylan, Richard T & McKelvey, Richard D, 1995. "Voting over Economic Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 860-71, September.
  23. 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.
  24. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  25. Schofield, Norman, 1983. "Generic Instability of Majority Rule," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 695-705, October.
  26. 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.
  27. Duggan, John & Fey, Mark, 2005. "Electoral competition with policy-motivated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 490-522, May.
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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 2010-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.
  4. Jon Eguia, 2013. "On the spatial representation of preference profiles," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 103-128, January.
  5. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2014. "Two-party competition with persistent policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 64-91.
  6. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2014. "Markovian Elections," 2014 Meeting Papers 153, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. John Duggan, 2013. "A Folk Theorem for Repeated Elections with Adverse Selection," Wallis Working Papers WP64, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  8. Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2014. "Incumbency (dis)advantage when citizens can propose Abstract:This paper analyses the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to citizen proposals such as the ," UB Economics Working Papers 2014/314, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
  9. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.

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