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Candidate quality in a Downsian model with a continuous policy space

Author

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  • Aragonès, Enriqueta
  • Xefteris, Dimitrios

Abstract

This paper characterizes a unique mixed strategy Nash equilibrium in a one-dimensional Downsian model of two-candidate elections with a continuous policy space, where candidates are office motivated and one candidate enjoys a non-policy advantage over the other candidate. We show that if votersʼ utility functions are concave and the median voter ideal point is drawn from a unimodal distribution, there is a mixed strategy Nash equilibrium where the advantaged candidate chooses the ideal point of the expected median voter with probability one and the disadvantaged candidate uses a mixed strategy that is symmetric around it. Existence conditions require the variance of the distribution to be small enough relative to the size of the advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2012. "Candidate quality in a Downsian model with a continuous policy space," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 464-480.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:75:y:2012:i:2:p:464-480
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2011.12.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2004. "Electoral Competition Between Between Two Candidates of Different Quality: The Effects of Candidate Ideology and Private Information," Working Papers 60, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
    3. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
    4. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    5. Enriqueta Aragones & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2002. "The Effect of Candidate Quality on Electoral Equilibrium: An Experimental Study," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 530.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:01:p:77-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hummel, Patrick, 2010. "On the nature of equilibria in a Downsian model with candidate valence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 425-445, November.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:04:p:928-941_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    10. Roland Kirstein & Georg v. Wangenheim, 2010. "A Generalized Condorcet Jury Theorem with Two Independent Probabilities of Error," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201011, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:57:y:1963:i:02:p:368-377_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Adams, James, 1999. "Policy Divergence in Multicandidate Probabilistic Spatial Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 103-122, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecolet:v:167:y:2018:i:c:p:71-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Konstantinos Matakos & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2017. "Divide and rule: redistribution in a model with differentiated candidates," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(4), pages 867-902, April.
    3. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Voters' private valuation of candidates' quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 121-130.
    4. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Equilibrium in a discrete Downsian model given a non-minimal valence advantage and linear loss functions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 150-153.
    5. Konstantinos Matakos & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Turnout and polarization under alternative electoral systems," Working Papers 77401404, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    6. Enriqueta Aragonès & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2017. "Imperfectly Informed Voters And Strategic Extremism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 439-471, May.
    7. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Downsian Dynamics," IDEI Working Papers 778, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    8. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Mixed equilibriums in a three-candidate spatial model with candidate valence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 101-120, January.
    9. Alexei, Zakharov & Shapoval, Alexander & Weber, Shlomo, 2016. "Valence influence in electoral competition with rank objectives," CEPR Discussion Papers 11527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. De Donder, Philippe & Gallego, Maria, 2017. "Electoral Competition and Party Positioning," TSE Working Papers 17-760, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Daniel Cardona & Jenny De Freitas & Antoni Rubí-Barceló, 2018. "Polarization or Moderation? Intra-group heterogeneity in endogenous-policy contest," DEA Working Papers 87, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
    12. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2012. "Spatial electoral competition with a probabilistically favored candidate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 96-98.
    13. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2016. "Candidate valence in a spatial model with entry," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 05-2016, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial competition; Mixed strategies; Candidate quality;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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