Strategic ambiguity in electoral competition
AbstractMany have observed that political candidates running for election are often purposefully expressing themselves in vague and ambiguous terms. In this paper we provide a simple formal model of this phenomenon. We model the electoral competition between two candidates as a two--stage game. In the first stage of the game two candidates simultaneously choose their ideologies, and in the second stage they simultaneously choose their level of ambiguity. Our results show that ambiguity, although disliked by voters, may be sustained in equilibrium. The introduction of ambiguity as a strategic choice variable for the candidates can also serve to explain why candidates with the same electoral objectives end up ``separating'', that is, assuming different ideological positions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 162.
Date of creation: Jan 1994
Date of revision: Apr 1996
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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/
Ambiguous platforms; ideological differentiation;
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
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