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The Citizen Candidate Model: An Experimental Analysis

  • John Cadigan

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    Citizen candidate models represent a significant advance in the analysis of public choice. They provide added realism to models of endogenous policy formation, relate the number of candidates to the benefits and costs associated with electoral competition and support equilibria with differentiated candidate positions, even with a multidimensional policy space. In this paper, experimental methods are utilized to test two of the model’s equilibrium predictions. The results support the prediction that an increase in the net benefits to winning an election increases the number of citizens entering electoral contests. When the net benefits to winning an election are low, the results support the prediction that the only candidate has the median preference. Further, the results suggest that when net benefits are high, two members of the electorate with preferences close to and symmetric about the median enter the election, although convergence to this equilibrium takes time. Because entry is costly, having multiple candidates lowers group payoffs and may be seen as inefficient. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-0262-4
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

    Volume (Year): 123 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 197-216

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:123:y:2005:i:1:p:197-216
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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    1. John B Van Huyck & Raymond C Battalio & Richard O Beil, 1997. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1225, David K. Levine.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
    3. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
    4. Sundali, James A. & Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A., 1995. "Coordination in Market Entry Games with Symmetric Players," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 203-218, November.
    5. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
    6. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Rankin, Frederick W, 1997. "On the Origin of Convention: Evidence from Coordination Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 576-96, May.
    7. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    8. Ochs, Jack, 1990. "The Coordination Problem in Decentralized Markets: An Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 545-59, May.
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