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A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates

  • Martin J. Osborne
  • Al Slivinksi

We develop a model of electoral competition in which citizens choose whether or not to run as candidates; a winner implements her favorite policy. The equilibrium number of candidates depends negatively on the cost of run ning and positively on the bene ts of winning. For some parameter values all equilibria under plurality rule have exactly two candidates, whose positions are distinct. Two candidate elections are more likely under plurality rule than under a runoff system. There exists equilibria under both systems in which some candidates have no chance of winning.

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File URL: http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/deptwp9504.ps
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1995-01.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:1995-01
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  1. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
  2. Osborne Martin J., 1993. "Candidate Positioning and Entry in a Political Competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 133-151, January.
  3. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  4. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
  6. Alesina, Alberto F & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," CEPR Discussion Papers 269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  8. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
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