IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Electoral competition with uncertainty averse parties


  • Bade, Sophie


The non-existence of equilibria in models of electoral competition involving multiple issues is one of the more puzzling results in political economics. In this paper, we relax the standard assumption that parties act as expected utility maximizers. We show that equilibria often exist when parties with limited knowledge about the electorate are modeled as uncertainty-averse. What is more, these equilibria can be characterized as a straightforward generalization of the classical median voter result.

Suggested Citation

  • Bade, Sophie, 2011. "Electoral competition with uncertainty averse parties," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 12-29, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:1:p:12-29

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duggan, John, 2007. "Equilibrium existence for zero-sum games and spatial models of elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 52-74, July.
    2. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1447-1498, November.
    3. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    4. Levy, Gilat, 2004. "A model of political parties," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 250-277, April.
    5. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
    6. Simon, Leo K & Zame, William R, 1990. "Discontinuous Games and Endogenous Sharing Rules," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 861-872, July.
    7. Antoine Billot & Alain Chateauneuf & Itzhak Gilboa & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2000. "Sharing Beliefs: Between Agreeing and Disagreeing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 685-694, May.
    8. Marcus Berliant & Hideo Konishi, 2005. "Salience: Agenda choices by competing candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 129-149, July.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:02:p:311-331_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    11. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    12. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
    13. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-330, March.
    14. Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2003. "A Subjective Spin on Roulette Wheels," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1897-1908, November.
    15. Barbera Salvador & Gul Faruk & Stacchetti Ennio, 1993. "Generalized Median Voter Schemes and Committees," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 262-289, December.
    16. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    17. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    18. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2006. "Dimensions of politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7750, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    19. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    20. Davis, Otto A & DeGroot, Morris H & Hinich, Melvin J, 1972. "Social Preference Orderings and Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 147-157, January.
    21. Rae, Douglas & Taylor, Michael, 1971. "Decision Rules and Policy Outcomes," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 71-90, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lang, Matthias & Wambach, Achim, 2013. "The fog of fraud – Mitigating fraud by strategic ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 255-275.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 2013. "Status Quo Deference and Policy Choice under Ambiguity," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(1), pages 116-128, March.
    3. Kazuya Kikuchi, 2016. "Multidimensional political competition with non-common beliefs," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(1), pages 233-244, June.
    4. Azrieli, Yaron & Teper, Roee, 2011. "Uncertainty aversion and equilibrium existence in games with incomplete information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 310-317.
    5. Ellis, Andrew, 2016. "Condorcet meets Ellsberg," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:1:p:12-29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.