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Valence Advantages and Public Goods Consumption: Does a Disadvantaged Candidate Choose an Extremist Position?

Author

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  • Raphaël Soubeyran

    (Université de la Mediterrannée)

Abstract

Does a disadvantaged candidate always choose an extremist program? When does a less competent candidate have an incentive to move to extreme positions in order to differentiate himself from the more competent candidate? If the answer to these questions were positive, as suggested in recent work (Ansolabehere and Snyder (2000), Aragones and Palfrey (2002), Groseclose (1999), and Aragones and Palfrey (2003)), this would mean that extremist candidates are bad politicians. We consider a two candidates electoral competition over public consumption, with a two dimensional policy space and two dimensions of candidates heterogeneity. In this setting, we show that the conclusion depends on candidates relative competences over the two public goods and distinguish between two types of advantages (an absolute advantage and comparative advantage in providing the two public goods).

Suggested Citation

  • Raphaël Soubeyran, 2006. "Valence Advantages and Public Goods Consumption: Does a Disadvantaged Candidate Choose an Extremist Position?," Working Papers 2006.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.84
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Enriqueta Aragones, 1997. "Negativity Effect and the Emergence of Ideologies," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, April.
    2. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:71:y:1977:i:04:p:1467-1487_26 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    5. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    6. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
    7. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    8. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-330, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Candidate Quality; Extremism; Public Goods Consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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