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Policy Divergence in Multicandidate Probabilistic Spatial Voting

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  • Adams, James

Abstract

Existing models of multicandidate spatial competition with probabilistic voting typically predict a high degree of policy convergence, yet in actual elections candidates advocate quite divergent sets of policies. What accounts for this disparity between theory and empirical observation? I introduce two variations on the basic probabilistic vote model which may account for candidate policy divergence: 1) a model which incorporates candidate-specific variables, so that candidates may enjoy nonpolicy-related electoral advantages (or disadvantages); 2) a model which allows nonzero correlations between the random terms associated with voters' candidate utilities, thereby capturing situations where voters view two or more candidates as similar on nonpolicy grounds. I report candidate equilibrium analyses for each model, which show far greater policy divergence than exists under the standard probabilistic vote model. I then analyze the strategic logic which underlies these results. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Adams, James, 1999. "Policy Divergence in Multicandidate Probabilistic Spatial Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 103-122, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:100:y:1999:i:1-2:p:103-22
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Norman Schofield & Ugur Ozdemir, 2009. "Formal Models of Elections and Political Bargaining," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 207-242, October.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Luca Lambertini, 2007. "Platform stickiness in a spatial voting model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(40), pages 1-11.
    5. James Adams & Samuel Merrill, 2013. "Policy-seeking candidates who value the valence attributes of the winner," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 139-161, April.
    6. L. Lambertini, 2001. "Dynamic Analysis of an Electoral Campaign," Working Papers 415, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:40:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Norman Schofield, 2007. "Modelling Politics," ICER Working Papers 33-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. L. Lambertini, 2007. "Oligopoly with Hyperbolic Demand: A Differential Game Approach," Working Papers 597, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    13. Zakharov, Alexei & Fantazzini, Dean, 2009. "Economic Factors in a Model of Voting: The Case of The Netherlands, Great Britain, and Israel," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 14(2), pages 57-73.
    14. repec:kap:pubcho:v:173:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0463-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Luigi Curini, 2015. "Explaining party ideological stances," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 79-96, January.
    16. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Mixed equilibriums in a three-candidate spatial model with candidate valence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 101-120, January.
    17. Amihai Glazer, 2008. "Voting to anger and to please others," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 247-254, March.
    18. Bierbrauer, Felix J. & Boyer, Pierre C., 2013. "Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.

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