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A general probabilistic spatial theory of elections

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  • James Enelow
  • Melvin Hinich

Abstract

In this paper, we construct a general probabilistic spatial theory of elections and examine sufficient conditions for equilibrium in two-candidate contests with expected vote-maximizing candidates. Given strict concavity of the candidate objective function, a unique equilibrium exists and the candidates adopt the same set of policy positions. Prospective uncertainty, reduced policy salience, degree of concavity of voter utility functions, some degree of centrality in the feasible set of policy locations, and restrictions on the dimensionality of the policy space are all stabilizing factors in two-candidate elections. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Suggested Citation

  • James Enelow & Melvin Hinich, 1989. "A general probabilistic spatial theory of elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 101-113, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:61:y:1989:i:2:p:101-113
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00115657
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Baumann Robert & Svec Justin, 2016. "The Impact of Political Uncertainty: A Robust Control Approach," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 837-863, April.
    2. Radosław Piwowarski, 2015. "Swing voters distribution into the income groups in Poland in the years 2001-2011: Probabilistic voting model perspective," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 40.
    3. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Voters' private valuation of candidates' quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 121-130.
    4. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Multidimensional electoral competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 112-121.
    5. John R. Freeman & Jude C. Hays & Helmut Stix, 1999. "Democracy and Markets: The Case of Exchange Rates," Working Papers 39, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    6. Dotti, Valerio, 2014. "The Political Economy of Publicly Provided Private Goods," MPRA Paper 54026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Tridimas, George & Winer, Stanley L., 2005. "The political economy of government size," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 643-666, September.
    8. Jan Brueckner & Kangoh Lee, 2015. "Negative campaigning in a probabilistic voting model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 379-399, September.
    9. Thomas E. Borcherding & J. Stephen Ferris & Andrea Garzoni, 2001. "Growth in the Real Size of Government since 1970," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-30, Claremont Colleges.
    10. Tanya Bagashka, 2014. "Representation in Hybrid Regimes: Constituency and Party Influences on Legislative Voting in the Russian Duma 1996–1999," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 95(2), pages 486-506, June.
    11. George Tridimas & Stanley L. Winer, 2004. "A Contribution to the Political Economy of Government Size: 'Demand', 'Supply' and 'Political Influence'," Carleton Economic Papers 04-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    12. J. Stephen Ferris, 2010. "Fiscal Policy from a Public Choice Perspective," Carleton Economic Papers 10-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    13. Tovey, Craig A., 2010. "The instability of instability of centered distributions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 53-73, January.
    14. Dotti, Valerio, 2016. "The political economy of immigration and population ageing," Working Papers 16-12, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    15. Winer, Stanley L. & Ferris, J. Stephen, 2008. "Searching for Keynesianism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 294-316, June.
    16. Dolmas, Jim, 2014. "Almost orthogonal outcomes under probabilistic voting: A cautionary example," MPRA Paper 53628, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. De Donder, Philippe & Gallego, Maria, 2017. "Electoral Competition and Party Positioning," TSE Working Papers 17-760, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    18. Stanley L. Winer & Walter Hettich, 2002. "The Political Economy of Taxation: Positive and Normative Analysis when Collective Choice Matters," Carleton Economic Papers 02-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2004.
    19. Stanley L. Winer & J Stephen Ferris, 2003. "Searching for Keynes: An Essay on the Political Economy of Fiscal Policy, with Application to Canada, 1870-2000 - revised version," CESifo Working Paper Series 1016, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. George Warskett & Stanley Winer & Walter Hettich, 1998. "The Complexity of Tax Structure in Competitive Political Systems," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(2), pages 123-151, May.
    21. Stahl, Dale O. & Turunen-Red, Arja H., 1995. "Tariff games: Cooperation with random variation in political regimes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 215-238, June.
    22. Tanner, Thomas Cole, 1994. "The spatial theory of elections: an analysis of voters' predictive dimensions and recovery of the underlying issue space," ISU General Staff Papers 1994010108000018174, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    23. Dotti, Valerio, 2014. "Generalized Comparative Statics for Political Economy Models," MPRA Paper 60711, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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