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Electoral Competition amongst Citizen-candidates and Downsian Politicians

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  • Jaideep Roy

    ()

  • Marcin Dziubinski

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we study a model of political competition where citizens vote sincerely and candidates may be either citizens or Downsian politicians. The model extends the citizen-candidate model proposed by Osborne and Slivinski [1996] by including Downsian politicians similar to those studied by Osborne [1993]. We give necessary and sufficient conditions for existence, together with complete characterisation, of one party and two party Nash equilibria in our model. An important feature, in view of the Duverger's Law, of the two-party equilibrium is that these equilibria cannot have any Downsian contestant. Moreover, we compare our model with that studied by Osborne and Slivinski [1996], showing that in both cases there exist political configurations that can appear in one of the models only. We show also that in our settings it is possible to have Nash equilibria with Downsian candidates, without requiring to have very restrictive constraints on the distribution function. We also argue that as the number of parties in euqilibrium increases, the 'likelihood' of an ideology driven citizen-candidate winning the elections and running the government falls. Finally we argue that in any equilibrium extremist parties proposing their policies uniquely are typically ideology-driven as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaideep Roy & Marcin Dziubinski, 2008. "Electoral Competition amongst Citizen-candidates and Downsian Politicians," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-10, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:08-10
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    File URL: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/342709/CEDI_08-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
    2. Osborne Martin J., 1993. "Candidate Positioning and Entry in a Political Competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 133-151, January.
    3. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    4. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
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