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The binary policy model

  • Krasa, Stefan
  • Polborn, Mattias

We introduce a model of electoral competition with office-motivated candidates who are exogenously committed to particular positions on some issues, while they choose positions for the remaining issues. A position is majority-efficient if a candidate cannot make a majority of the electorate better off, given his fixed positions. We characterize existence conditions for majority-efficient positions. The candidates' fixed positions in our framework imply that only some voters are "swing voters," and we analyze how the distribution of swing voters determines whether candidates choose majority-efficient positions. We also analyze plurality and runoff elections with multiple candidates in our framework.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 661-688

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:2:p:661-688
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. 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.
  2. Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 577-619.
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  4. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "Political competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 249-271.
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  7. Micael Castanheira, . "Why Vote for Losers?," Working Papers 125, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Steven Callander, 2005. "Electoral Competition in Heterogeneous Districts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1116-1145, October.
  9. Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
  11. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
  12. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
  13. Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. "Elections with Privately Informed Parties and Voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 147-67, July.
  14. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
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