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Electoral competition under imperfect information


  • Jean-François Laslier


  • Karine Straeten



This paper considers electoral competition between two office-motivated parties and one voter, in the presence of two alternative policies and under imperfect information. The theory of refinements of Nash equilibrium predicts the outcome of this three-player game: both parties faithfully use their information and try to find the best policy for the voter. We discuss the meaning of this model for Politics and prove that the same result holds for any number of voters, provided that parties are expected plurality maximizers and that voters satisfy a version of the sincere voting assumption adapted to this strategic setting. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Laslier & Karine Straeten, 2004. "Electoral competition under imperfect information," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(2), pages 419-446, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:24:y:2004:i:2:p:419-446 DOI: 10.1007/s00199-003-0414-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2012. "Political Awareness and Microtargeting of Voters in Electoral Competition," Working Papers 124, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    2. Thomas Jensen, 2013. "Elections, Information, and State-Dependent Candidate Quality," Discussion Papers 13-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    3. Jean-François Laslier, 2003. "Party objectives in the "Divide a dollar" electoral competition," Working Papers hal-00242987, HAL.
    4. Gratton, Gabriele, 2014. "Pandering and electoral competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 163-179.
    5. Iryna Topolyan, 2013. "Existence of perfect equilibria: a direct proof," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 53(3), pages 697-705, August.
    6. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Trannoy, Alain & Van Der Straeten, Karine, 2003. "Voting under ignorance of job skills of unemployed: the overtaxation bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 595-626, March.
    7. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2017. "Wisdom of the Crowd? Information Aggregation and Electoral Incentives," MPRA Paper 82753, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Tilman Klumpp, 2011. "Populism, Partisanship, and the Funding of Political Campaigns," Emory Economics 1107, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    9. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2014. "Political Awareness, Microtargeting of Voters, and Negative Electoral Campaigning," Working Papers 148, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    10. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2016. "Information in elections: Do third inflexible candidates always promote truthful behavior?," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 307-339, August.
    11. Mike Felgenhauer, 2012. "Revealing information in electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 55-68, October.
    12. Thomas Jensen, 2015. "Elections, Information, and State-Dependent Candidate Quality," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(5), pages 702-723, October.


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