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Elections And Strategic Positioning Games

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  • Page, Jr Frank H
  • Wooders, Myrna H

Abstract

We formalize the interplay between expected voting behavior and strategic positioning behavior of candidates as a common agency problem in which the candidates (i.e., the principals) compete for voters (i.e., agents) via the issues they choose and the positions they take. A political situation is defined as a feasible combination of candidate positions and expected political payoffs to the candidates. Taking this approach, we are led naturally to a particular formalization of the candidates’ positioning game, called a political situation game. Within the context of this game, we define the notion of farsighted stability (introduced in an abstract setting by Chwe (1994)) and apply Chwe’s result to obtain existence of farsightedly stable outcomes. We compute the farsightedly stable sets for several examples of political situations games, with outcomes that conform to real-world observations

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 545.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:545

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Keywords: farsighted stability ; political common agency games;

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  1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  2. Chwe Michael Suk-Young, 1994. "Farsighted Coalitional Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 299-325, August.
  3. Martin J. Osborne, 1992. "Candidate Positioning and Entry in a Political Competition," Department of Economics Working Papers 1992-02, McMaster University.
  4. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. 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.
  6. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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