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

  • Raphaël Soubeyran

    (Université de la Mediterrannée)

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    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).

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    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/Publication/NDL2006/NDL2006-084.pdf
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    Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2006.84.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.84
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    1. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
    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. Enriqueta Aragonés, 1994. "Negativity effect and the emergence of ideologies," Economics Working Papers 163, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 1995.
    4. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
    5. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
    6. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26, January.
    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).
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