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Spatial Competition Between Two Candidates of Different Quality: The Effects of Candidate Ideology and Private Information

This paper examines competition in a spatial model of two-candidate elections, where one candidate enjoys a quality advantage over the other candidate. The candidates care about winning and also have policy preferences. There is two-dimensional private information. Candidate ideal points as well as their tradeoffs between policy preferences and winning are private information. The distribution of this two-dimensional type is common knowledge. The location of the median voter's ideal point is uncertain, with a distribution that is commonly known by both candidates. Pure strategy equilibria always exist in this model. We characterize the effects of increased uncertainty about the median voter, the effect of candidate policy preferences, and the effects of changes in the distribution of private information. We prove that the distribution of candidate policies approaches the mixed equilibrium of Aragones and Palfrey (2002a), when both candidates' weights on policy preferences go to zero.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 573.03.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: 23 May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:573.03
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  1. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "The Effect of Candidate Quality on Electoral Equilibrium: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 1138, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
  3. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  4. 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.
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