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Political Competition when Media Create Candidates’ Charisma

  • Ascensión Andina Díaz

    (Universidad de Alicante)

This paper studies the location decisions of political parties. We propose a game where agents vote according to ideology and valence, and media create candidates’ charisma. The results we obtain show that candidates realize the power of media and therefore locate themselves at some point between the position and the mediam voter and that of the media. However, and more importantly, we further obtain that depending on the media outlets the voters choose to attend, the equilibrium location of candidates may differ. Thus, when voters choose among the outlets, candidates may differentiate their platforms. On the other hand, when voters are exposed to all the outlets in the economy, candidates tend more to moderate their ideology, in an attempt to get the favor of all the media. This result suggests that political competition may end in differentiation if voters only attend to the media that are ideologically close to their convictions. In contrast, political moderation is more easily reached if voters get information from various sources and therefore make more balanced judgements.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2004.134.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.134
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  1. 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.
  2. Ascensión Andina, 2004. "Asymmetric Information And Electoral Campaigns: The Monitoring Role Of Media," Working Papers. Serie AD 2004-32, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  3. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237, November.
  4. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  5. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. Ignacio OrtuÓo-OrtÎn, 1997. "A spatial model of political competition and proportional representation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 427-438.
  7. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & LAUSSEL, Didier & SONNAC, Nathalie, . "Press advertising and the ascent of the `Pensée Unique'," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1512, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
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