Projection Effects and Strategic Ambiguity in Electoral Competition
Theories from psychology suggest that voters' perceptions of political positions depend on their non-policy related attitudes towards the candidates. A voter who likes (dislikes) a candidate will perceive the candidate's position as closer to (further from) his own than it really is. This is called projection. If voters' perceptions are not counterfactual and voting is based on perceived policy positions then projection gives a generally liked candidate an incentive to be ambiguous. In this paper we construct and analyze a formal model to investigate under which conditions this incentive survives in the strategic setting of electoral competition, even if voters dislike ambiguity per se.
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- Alberto Alesina & Alex Cukierman, 1990.
"The Politics of Ambiguity,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-850.
- Enriqueta Aragonés & Zvika Neeman, 1994.
"Strategic ambiguity in electoral competition,"
Economics Working Papers
162, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1996.
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