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Ambiguity in electoral competition

Author

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  • Jean-François Laslier

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'économétrie de l'École polytechnique - X - École polytechnique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

The paper proposes a theory of ambiguous electoral competition. A platform is ambigous if voters may interpret it as different policy proposals. An ambiguous platform puts more or less emphasis on alternative policies so that it is more or less easily interpreted as one policy or the other. I suppose that a party can monitor exactly this platform design but cannot target its communications to individuals one by one. Each individual votes according to her understanding of the parties' platforms but dislikes ambiguity. It is shown that this electoral competition has no Nash equilibrium. Nevertheless its max-min strategies are the optimal strategies of the Downsian game in mixed strategies. Furthermore, if parties behave prudently enough and if the voters aversion to ambiguity is small enough, these strategies do form an equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Laslier, 2003. "Ambiguity in electoral competition," Working Papers hal-00242944, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00242944
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00242944
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ngoie, Ruffin-Benoit M., 2012. "Choix social et partage équitable : Une analyse mathématique a posteriori des élections législatives et présidentielles de 2006 et 2011 en RDC
      [Social choice and fair sharing: An a posteriori mathe
      ," MPRA Paper 64915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2012. "Political Awareness and Microtargeting of Voters in Electoral Competition," Working Papers 124, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    3. Maarten C. W. Janssen & Mariya Teteryatnikova, 2015. "On the Positive Role of Negative Political Campaigning," Vienna Economics Papers 1506, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    4. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2014. "Political Awareness, Microtargeting of Voters, and Negative Electoral Campaigning," Working Papers 148, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    5. Vardan, Baghdasaryan & Elena, Manzoni, 2016. "Set them (almost) free. Discretion in electoral campaigns under asymmetric information," Working Papers 354, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 13 Dec 2016.
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0459-3 is not listed on IDEAS

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