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Candidate quality in a Downsian model with a continuous policy space

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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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    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.
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    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.
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    11. Stokes, Donald E., 1963. "Spatial Models of Party Competition," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 368-377, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cahan, Dodge & McCabe-Dansted, John & Slinko, Arkadii, 2018. "Asymmetric equilibria in spatial competition under weakly concave scoring rules," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 71-74.
    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. Ruzica Savcic & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2020. "Apostolic Voting," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 08-2020, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    4. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Voters' private valuation of candidates' quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 121-130.
    5. 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.
    6. Konstantinos Matakos & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Turnout and polarization under alternative electoral systems," Working Papers 77401404, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    7. 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.
    8. Konstantinos Matakos & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2015. "Turnout and Polarization Under Alternative Electoral Systems," Studies in Political Economy, in: Norman Schofield & Gonzalo Caballero (ed.), The Political Economy of Governance, edition 127, pages 335-362, Springer.
    9. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Downsian Dynamics," IDEI Working Papers 778, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    10. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2018. "Candidate valence in a spatial model with entry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 176(3), pages 341-359, September.
    11. Karakas, Leyla D. & Mitra, Devashish, 2020. "Inequality, redistribution and the rise of outsider candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-16.
    12. Dodge Cahan & Arkadii Slinko, 2018. "Electoral competition under best-worst voting rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 51(2), pages 259-279, August.
    13. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Mixed equilibriums in a three-candidate spatial model with candidate valence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 101-120, January.
    14. Alexander Shapoval & Shlomo Weber & Alexei Zakharov, 2019. "Valence influence in electoral competition with rank objectives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 48(3), pages 713-753, September.
    15. De Donder, Philippe & Gallego, Maria, 2017. "Electoral Competition and Party Positioning," TSE Working Papers 17-760, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    16. Fabian Gouret & Stéphane Rossignol, 2019. "Intensity valence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 53(1), pages 63-112, June.
      • Fabian Gouret & Stéphane Rossignol, 2016. "Intensity valence," THEMA Working Papers 2016-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    17. 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.
    18. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2012. "Spatial electoral competition with a probabilistically favored candidate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 96-98.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial competition; Mixed strategies; Candidate quality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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