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Political Motivations and Electoral Competition: Equilibrium Analysis and Experimental Evidence

Author

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  • Michalis Drouvelis
  • Alejandro Saporiti
  • Nicolaas J Vriend

Abstract

We study both theoretically and experimentally the complete set of Nash equilibria of a classical one-dimensional, majority rule election game with two candidates, who might be interested in power as well as in ideology, but not necessarily in the same way. Apart from obtaining the well known median voter result and the two-sided policy differentiation outcome, the paper uncovers the existence of two new equilibrium configurations, called 'one-sided' and probabilistic' policy differentiation, respectively. Our analysis shows how these equilibrium configurations depend on the relative interests in power (resp., ideology) and the uncertainty about voters' preferences. The theoretical predictions are supported by the data collected from a series of laboratory experiments, as we observe convergence to the Nash equilibrium values at the aggregate as well as the individual levels in all treatments, and the comparative statics effects across treatments are as prediced by the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Michalis Drouvelis & Alejandro Saporiti & Nicolaas J Vriend, 2011. "Political Motivations and Electoral Competition: Equilibrium Analysis and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers 11-15, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:11-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shino Takayama & Yuki Tamura, 2015. "A Nash Equilibrium in Electoral Competition Models," Discussion Papers Series 546, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. repec:spr:sochwe:v:50:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1103-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Emily Tanimura & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2016. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Revisited: Return of the Median Voter," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01317991, HAL.
    4. Alejandro Saporiti, 2014. "Power sharing and electoral equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 705-729, April.
    5. Bagh, Adib, 2014. "Candidates' Uncertainty and Error Distribution Models in Electoral Competitions," MPRA Paper 77631, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Shino Takayama & Yuki Tamura & Terence Yeo, 2016. "Nash Equilibrium and Party Polarization in an Electoral Competition Model," Discussion Papers Series 575, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    7. Jon X. Eguia & Antonio Nicolò, 2011. "On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 234, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    8. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Emily Tanimura & Nicolaas Vriend, 2018. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Revisited: Return of the Median Voter ," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01714582, HAL.
    9. Sebastian Galiani & Cheryl Long & Camila Navajas & Gustavo Torrens, 2016. "Horizontal and Vertical Conflict: Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 21857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral competition; Power; Ideology; Uncertainty; Nash equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

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