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Political Competition between Differentiated Candidates

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  • Stefan Krasa
  • Mattias Polborn

Abstract

We introduce a framework of electoral competition in which voters have general preferences over candidates’ characteristics and policies. Candidates’ immutable characteristics (such as gender, race or previously committed policy positions) are exogenously differentiated, while candidates can choose any policy for the remaining issues to maximize their winning probability. Voters have general preferences over the vectors of candidate characteristics and policies, and vote sincerely. Candidates are uncertain about the distribution of voter preferences. We characterize a condition on voter preferences (satisfied in most existing models) under which candidates’ equilibrium policies generically converge. In contrast, for voter preferences that violate this condition, we construct a class of models in which policy divergence arises in the unique and strict Nash equilibrium. As a normative criterion, we define competition-efficiency and provide conditions under which the equilibrium is or is not competition-efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2009. "Political Competition between Differentiated Candidates," CESifo Working Paper Series 2560, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2560
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anja Prummer, 2016. "Spatial Advertisement in Political Campaigns," Working Papers 805, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:121-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Thomas Jensen, 2015. "Elections, Information, and State-Dependent Candidate Quality," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(5), pages 702-723, October.
    5. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2010. "The binary policy model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 661-688, March.
    6. Konstantinos Matakos & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2017. "Divide and rule: redistribution in a model with differentiated candidates," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(4), pages 867-902, April.
    7. Sophie Bade, 2016. "Divergent platforms," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(4), pages 561-580, April.
    8. Azrieli, Yaron, 2011. "Axioms for Euclidean preferences with a valence dimension," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 545-553.
    9. Bernard Grofman & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2016. "Electoral competition with primaries and quality asymmetries," Working Papers 135286117, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    10. Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2014. "Social Ideology and Taxes in a Differentiated Candidates Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 308-322, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Voters' private valuation of candidates' quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 121-130.
    13. Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2012. "Elites or Masses? A Structural Model of Policy Divergence, Voter Sorting and Apparent Polarization in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1972-2008," CESifo Working Paper Series 3752, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Paul Redmond, 2017. "Incumbent-challenger and open-seat elections in a spatial model of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 79-97, January.
    15. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2010. "Competition between Specialized Candidates," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(04), pages 745-765, November.
    16. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:112-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Multidimensional electoral competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 112-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    multidimensional policy; voting; issue ownership; normative analysis of political competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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