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Competition between Specialized Candidates

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  • Stefan Krasa
  • Mattias Polborn

Abstract

We develop a formal model in which the government provides public goods in different policy fields for its citizens. We start from the basic premise that two office-motivated candidates have differential capabilities in different policy fields, and compete by proposing how to allocate government resources to those fields. The model has a unique equilibrium that differs substantially from the standard median-voter model. While candidates compete for the support of a moderate voter type, this cutoff voter differs from the expected median voter. Moreover, no voter type except the cutoff voter is indifferent between the candidates in equilibrium. The model also predicts that candidates respond to changes in the preferences of voters in a very rigid way. We also analyze under which conditions candidates choose to strengthen the issue in which they have a competence advantage, and when they rather compensate for their weakness.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2010. "Competition between Specialized Candidates," CESifo Working Paper Series 2930, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2930
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "Political competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 249-271.
    2. Gersbach, Hans & Muller, Philippe & Tejada, Oriol, 2016. "The Effects of Higher Re-election Hurdles and Costs of Policy Change on Political Polarization," CEPR Discussion Papers 11375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Thomas Jensen, 2013. "Elections, Information, and State-Dependent Candidate Quality," Discussion Papers 13-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    8. Anja Prummer, 2016. "Spatial Advertisement in Political Campaigns," Working Papers 805, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    9. Justin Mattias Valasek, 2012. "Get Out The Vote: How Encouraging Voting Changes Political Outcomes," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 346-373, November.
    10. Jon Eguia, 2013. "On the spatial representation of preference profiles," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 103-128, January.
    11. Hans Gersbach & Philippe Muller & Oriol Tejada, 2015. "Costs of Change, Political Polarization, and Re-election Hurdles," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 15/222, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    issue ownership; differentiated candidates; policy divergence;

    JEL classification:

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

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