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Electoral competition in 2-dimensional ideology space with unidimensional commitment

  • Marcin Dziubiński


  • Jaideep Roy


We study a model of political competition between two candidates with two orthogonal issues, where candidates are office motivated and committed to a particular position in one of the dimensions, while having the freedom to slect (credibly) any position on the other dimension. We analyse two settings: a homogeneous one, where both candidates are committed to the same dimension and a heterogeneous one, where each candidate is committed to a different dimension. We characterise and give necessary and sufficient conditions for existence of convergent and divergent Nash equilibria for distributions with a non-empty and an empty core. We identify a special point on the ideology space whcih we call a strict median, existence of which is strictly related to existence of divergent Nash equilibria. A central conclusion of our anlysis is that for divergent equilibria, strong extremism (or differentiation) seems to be an important equlibrium feature.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:36:y:2011:i:1:p:1-24
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  1. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Garrett Beeler Asay, 2008. "How does ideology matter in the spatial model of voting?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 109-123, June.
  3. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
  4. Owen, G & Shapley, L S, 1989. "Optimal Location of Candidates in Ideological Space," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 339-56.
  5. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "Political competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 249-271.
  6. Hummel, Patrick, 2010. "On the nature of equilibria in a Downsian model with candidate valence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 425-445, November.
  7. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
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