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Political motivations and electoral competition: Equilibrium analysis and experimental evidence

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  • Drouvelis, Michalis
  • Saporiti, Alejandro
  • Vriend, Nicolaas J.

Abstract

We study both theoretically and experimentally the set of Nash equilibria of a classical one-dimensional election game with two candidates. These candidates are interested in power and ideology, but their weights on these two motives are not necessarily identical. Apart from obtaining the well known median voter result and the two-sided policy differentiation outcome, the paper uncovers the existence of two new equilibrium configurations, called ‘one-sided’ and ‘probabilistic’ policy differentiation, respectively. Our analysis shows how these equilibrium configurations depend on the relative interests in power (resp., ideology) and the uncertainty about votersʼ preferences. The theoretical predictions are supported by the data collected from a laboratory experiment, as we observe convergence to the Nash equilibrium values at the aggregate as well as at the individual levels in all treatments, and the comparative statics effects across treatments are as predicted by the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Drouvelis, Michalis & Saporiti, Alejandro & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2014. "Political motivations and electoral competition: Equilibrium analysis and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 86-115.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:83:y:2014:i:c:p:86-115 DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2013.10.004
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shino Takayama & Yuki Tamura, 2015. "A Nash Equilibrium in Electoral Competition Models," Discussion Papers Series 546, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Emily Tanimura & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2016. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Revisited: Return of the Median Voter," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 16037, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    3. Bagh, Adib, 2014. "Candidates' Uncertainty and Error Distribution Models in Electoral Competitions," MPRA Paper 77631, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alejandro Saporiti, 2014. "Power sharing and electoral equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 705-729, April.
    5. Sebastian Galiani & Cheryl Long & Camila Navajas & Gustavo Torrens, 2016. "Horizontal and Vertical Conflict: Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 21857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shino Takayama & Yuki Tamura & Terence Yeo, 2016. "Nash Equilibrium and Party Polarization in an Electoral Competition Model," Discussion Papers Series 575, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    7. Jon X. Eguia & Antonio Nicolò, 2011. "On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 234, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral competition; Power; Ideology; Electoral uncertainty; Nash equilibrium; Experimental evidence;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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