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The Citizen Candidate Model: An Experimental Analysis

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  • John Cadigan

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Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • John Cadigan, 2005. "The Citizen Candidate Model: An Experimental Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 197-216, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:123:y:2005:i:1:p:197-216
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-0262-4
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-0262-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:02:p:382-392_10 is not listed on IDEAS
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    3. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 576-596, May.
    8. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tsakas, Nikolas & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2018. "Electoral competition with third party entry in the lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 121-134.
    2. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "The politicians’ wage gap: insights from German members of parliament," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 653-676, September.
    3. Damien Bol & André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Antonin Macé, 2015. "Electoral System and Number of Candidates: Candidate Entry under Plurality and Majority Runoff," PSE Working Papers halshs-01168722, HAL.
    4. Damien Bol & André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Antonin Macé, 2015. "Electoral System and Number of Candidates: Candidate Entry under Plurality and Majority Runoff," Working Papers halshs-01168722, HAL.

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