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Policy-Motivated Candidates, Noisy Platforms, and Non-robustness


  • Lagerlof, Johan


This paper develops a model of a two-candidate election in which the candidates are mainly office-motivated but also to some (arbitrarily small) extent policy-motivated, and their chosen platforms are to some (arbitrarily small) extent noisy. The platforms' being noisy means that if a candidate has chosen a particular platform, the voter's perception is that she has, with positive probability, actually chosen some other platform. It is shown that (i) an equilibrium in which the candidates play pure exists whether or not there is a Condorcet winner among the policy alternatives, and (ii) in this equilibrium the candidates choose their own favorite platforms, which means that the platforms do not converge. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lagerlof, Johan, 2003. "Policy-Motivated Candidates, Noisy Platforms, and Non-robustness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 319-347, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:114:y:2003:i:3-4:p:319-47

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:01:p:142-157_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bhaskar, V. & van Damme, Eric, 2002. "Moral Hazard and Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 16-39, January.
    4. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2000. "Perfect versus Imperfect Observability--An Experimental Test of Bagwell's Result," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 174-190, May.
    5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    6. Guth, Werner & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Ritzberger, Klaus, 1998. "Imperfectly Observable Commitments inn-Player Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 54-74, April.
    7. Levine, David K. & Martinelli, Cesar, 1998. "Reputation with Noisy Precommitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 55-75, January.
    8. Gary J. Miller, 1997. "The Impact of Economics on Contemporary Political Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1173-1204, September.
    9. Jorg Oechssler & Karl Schlag, 1997. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Bagwell's Example," Game Theory and Information 9704001, EconWPA, revised 11 Apr 1997.
    10. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
    11. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
    12. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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