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Does a Disadvantaged Candidate Choose an Extremist Position?

  • Raphaël SOUBEYRAN

Does a disadvantaged candidate always choose an extremist program? When does a less competent candidate have an incentive to move to extreme positions in order to differentiate himself from the more competent candidate? Recent work answers by the affirmative — Groseclose (1999), Ansolabehere and Snyder (2000), Aragones and Palfrey (2002), (2003). We consider a two-candidates electoral competition over public consumption, with a two-dimensional policy space and two dimensions of candidate heterogeneity. In this setting, we show that the conclusion depends on the relative competences of candidates and distinguish between two types of advantages (an absolute advantage and comparative advantage in providing the two public goods).

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Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): 93-94 ()
Pages: 327-348

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2009:i:93-94:p:14
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  1. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," NBER Working Papers 2759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Enriqueta Aragones, 1997. "Negativity Effect and the Emergence of Ideologies," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, April.
  4. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  6. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  8. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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