IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Context-dependent voting and political ambiguity

  • Callander, Steven
  • Wilson, Catherine H.

In recent decades psychologists have shown that the standard model of individual choice is often violated. One regularly observed violation is that choices are influenced by the decision context. To incorporate these effects into politics, we introduce a theory of context-dependent voting and apply it to the puzzle of why candidates are so frequently ambiguous in their policy pronouncements. We show that context-dependent voters develop a taste for ambiguity, even when they evaluate distances quadratically and exhibit traditional risk aversion. Turning to aggregate effects, we incorporate context-dependent voting into a model of electoral competition and show that strategic candidates respond in equilibrium to context-dependent voters by offering ambiguous platforms, thereby affecting the policy outcome.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(07)00120-X
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
Pages: 565-581

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:565-581
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alberto Alesina & Alex Cukierman, 1987. "The Politics of Ambiguity," NBER Working Papers 2468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Callander, Steven & Wilson, Catherine H., 2006. "Context-dependent Voting," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 227-254, July.
  3. Amos Tversky & Itamar Simonson, 1993. "Context-Dependent Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1179-1189, October.
  4. Enriqueta Aragonès & Zvika Neeman, 2000. "Strategic Ambiguity in Electoral Competition," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 12(2), pages 183-204, April.
  5. John W. Pratt & David A. Wise & Richard Zeckhauser, 1979. "Price Differences in almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211.
  6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  7. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
  8. Dhar, Ravi, 1997. " Consumer Preference for a No-Choice Option," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 215-31, September.
  9. Enriqueta Aragonés & Andrew Postlewaite, 1999. "Ambiguity in election games," Economics Working Papers 364, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Richard Zeckhauser, 1969. "Majority Rule with Lotteries on Alternatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 696-703.
  11. Adam Meirowitz, 2005. "Informational Party Primaries and Strategic Ambiguity," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 17(1), pages 107-136, January.
  12. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. " Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:565-581. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.