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Salience: Agenda Choices by Competing Candidates

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Author Info

  • Marcus Berliant

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Hideo Konishi

    (Boston College)

Abstract

Which issues are discussed by candidates in an election campaign? Why are some issues never discussed? Model tractability is lost quickly when dealing with these questions, partly because of the multidimensional voting inherent in models of multiple issues. Our model features two candidates for office who can talk about any subset of issues, allowing uncertainty both on the part of voters and candidates, and taking candidates to be office motivated. Candidates move first and simultaneously, announcing any positions they choose on any issues. To us, salience is simply the discussion of an issue in a campaign. If both candidates and voters are expected utility maximizers, we find salience results, in that candidates typically want to talk about everything (or they are indifferent between talking and nonsalience). Leaving the expected utility framework, we present an example using “Knightian uncertainty” or “maxmin expected utility with multiple priors” of Gilboa-Schmeidler to illustrate how robust nonsalience and salience of issues might be generated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0407003.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0407003

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 25
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Salience; Candidate Competition; Elections; Knightian Uncertainty; Non-Expected Utility Theory; Maxmin Expected Utility with Multiple Priors; Gilboa-Schmeidler; Ambiguity Aversion;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Alex Cukierman, 1987. "The Politics of Ambiguity," NBER Working Papers 2468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Ball, 1999. "Discontinuity and non-existence of equilibrium in the probabilistic spatial voting model," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 533-555.
  3. Chow, Clare Chua & Sarin, Rakesh K, 2001. " Comparative Ignorance and the Ellsberg Paradox," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 129-39, March.
  4. Adams, James, 1999. " Multiparty Spatial Competition with Probabilistic Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 259-74, June.
  5. Ho, Joanna L Y & Keller, L Robin & Keltyka, Pamela, 2002. " Effects of Outcome and Probabilistic Ambiguity on Managerial Choices," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 47-74, January.
  6. Glazer, Amihai & Lohmann, Susanne, 1999. " Setting the Agenda: Electoral Competition, Commitment of Policy, and Issue Salience," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 377-94, June.
  7. Enriqueta Aragonés & Andrew Postlewaite, 1999. "Ambiguity in election games," Economics Working Papers 364, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  9. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Bade, Sophie, 2011. "Electoral competition with uncertainty averse parties," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 12-29, May.
  2. Guido, Cataife, 2007. "The pronouncements of paranoid politicians," MPRA Paper 4473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Takao Asano & Akihisa Shibata, 2010. "Risk and Uncertainty in Health Investment," KIER Working Papers 696, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2014. "Political Awareness, Microtargeting of Voters, and Negative Electoral Campaigning," Working Papers 148, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2012. "Political Awareness and Microtargeting of Voters in Electoral Competition," Working Papers 124, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

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