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

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  • Enriqueta Aragonès
  • Thomas R. Palfrey

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2004. "Electoral Competition Between Between Two Candidates of Different Quality: The Effects of Candidate Ideology and Private Information," Working Papers 60, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:60
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    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/60.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. repec:cup:apsrev:v:57:y:1963:i:02:p:368-377_24 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2012. "Candidate quality in a Downsian model with a continuous policy space," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 464-480.
    2. Alejandro Saporiti, 2008. "Existence and Uniqueness of Nash Equilibrium in Electoral Competition Games: The Hybrid Case," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(5), pages 827-857, October.
    3. Drouvelis, Michalis & Saporiti, Alejandro & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2014. "Political motivations and electoral competition: Equilibrium analysis and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 86-115.
    4. Rodet, Cortney S., 2011. "Voter Behavior and Seniority Advantage in Pork Barrel Politics," MPRA Paper 33192, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Alejandro Saporiti, 2005. "On the existence of Nash equilibrium in electoral competition," Game Theory and Information 0504005, EconWPA.

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