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A Dynamic Model of Democratic Elections in Multidimensional Policy Spaces

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  • Banks, Jeffrey S.
  • Duggan, John

Abstract

We propose a general model of repeated elections. In each period, a challenger is chosen from the electorate to run against an incumbent politician in a majority-rule election, and the winner then selects a policy from a multidimensional policy space. Individual policy preferences are private information, whereas policy choices are publicly observable. We prove existence and continuity of equilibria in "simple" voting and policy strategies; we provide examples to show the variety of possible equilibrium patterns in multiple dimensions; we analyze the effects of patience and office-holding benefits on the persistence of policies over time; and we identify relationships between equilibrium policies and the core of the underlying voting game. As a byproduct of our analysis, we show how equilibrium incentives may lead elected representatives to make policy compromises, even when binding commitments are unavailable. We provide an informational story for incumbency advantage. Finally, we give an asymptotic version of the median voter theorem for the one-dimensional model as voters become-arbitrarily patient.

Suggested Citation

  • Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 2008. "A Dynamic Model of Democratic Elections in Multidimensional Policy Spaces," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(3), pages 269-299, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00006009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:74:y:1980:i:02:p:432-446_16 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Georges Casamatta & Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder, 2010. "Repeated electoral competition over nonlinear income tax schedules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(4), pages 535-574, October.
    2. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    3. Jon Eguia, 2013. "On the spatial representation of preference profiles," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 103-128, January.
    4. Vincent Anesi, 2012. "A new old solution for weak tournaments," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(4), pages 919-930, October.
    5. Câmara, Odilon & Bernhardt, Dan, 2015. "Learning about challengers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 181-206.
    6. Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2014. "Incumbency (dis)advantage when citizens can propose Abstract:This paper analyses the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to citizen proposals such as the ," UB Economics Working Papers 2014/314, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    7. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2014. "Two-party competition with persistent policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 64-91.
    8. Ben Lockwood & James Rockey, 2015. "Negative Voters: Electoral Competition with Loss-Aversion," Discussion Papers in Economics 15/15, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    9. Richard Weelden, 2015. "The welfare implications of electoral polarization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(4), pages 653-686, December.
    10. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1824-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.
    12. John Duggan, 2013. "A Folk Theorem for Repeated Elections with Adverse Selection," Wallis Working Papers WP64, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.

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