IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Endogenous party platforms: ‘stochastic’ membership


  • Andrei M. Gomberg

    () (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México)

  • Francisco Marhuenda

    () (Universidad Carlos III)

  • Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín

    () (Universidad Carlos III)


Abstract We propose a model of endogenous party platforms with stochastic membership. The parties’ proposals depend on their membership, while the membership depends both on the proposals of the parties and on the unobserved idiosyncratic preferences of citizens over parties. An equilibrium of the model obtains when the members of each party prefer the proposal of the party to which they belong to, rather than the proposal of the other party. We prove the existence of such an equilibrium and study its qualitative properties. For the cases in which parties use either the average or the median to aggregate the preferences of their members, we show that if the unobserved idiosyncratic characteristics of the parties are similar, then parties make different proposals in the stable equilibria. Conversely, we argue that if parties differ substantially in their unobserved idiosyncratic characteristics, then the unique equilibrium is convergent.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrei M. Gomberg & Francisco Marhuenda & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, 2016. "Endogenous party platforms: ‘stochastic’ membership," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(4), pages 839-866, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:62:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-015-0936-1 DOI: 10.1007/s00199-015-0936-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Anke Gerber, 1998. "Political compromise and endogenous formation of coalitions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(3), pages 445-454.
    2. Stephen Ansolabehere & William Leblanc & James Snyder, 2012. "When parties are not teams: party positions in single-member district and proportional representation systems," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(3), pages 521-547, April.
    3. Ramon Faulí-Oller & Efe A. Ok & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, 2003. "Delegation and polarization of platforms in political competition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 22(2), pages 289-309, September.
    4. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "Political competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 249-271.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:34-47_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. John Aldrich, 1983. "A spatial model with party activists: implications for electoral dynamics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 63-100, January.
    7. Marcin Dziubiński & Jaideep Roy, 2011. "Electoral competition in 2-dimensional ideology space with unidimensional commitment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(1), pages 1-24, January.
    8. John Roemer, 2011. "A theory of income taxation where politicians focus upon core and swing voters," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(3), pages 383-421, April.
    9. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1997. "Competition among Institutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 306-342, February.
    10. Andrei Gomberg & Francisco Marhuenda & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, 2004. "A model of endogenous political party platforms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(2), pages 373-394, August.
    11. Poutvaara, Panu, 2003. "Party Platforms with Endogenous Party Membership," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 79-98, October.
    12. Ignacio Ortuño Ortín & John E. Roemer, 2000. "Endogenous Party Formation And The Effect Of Income Distribution On Policy," Working Papers. Serie AD 2000-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    13. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2010. "Competition between Specialized Candidates," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(04), pages 745-765, November.
    14. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:04:p:974-990_25 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Grofman & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2016. "Electoral competition with primaries and quality asymmetries," Working Papers 135286117, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    2. John Roemer, 2012. "The political economy of income taxation under asymmetric information: the two-type case," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 181-199, March.

    More about this item


    Political parties; Stochastic membership; Divergent equilibria;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:62:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-015-0936-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.