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Divergent Platforms

  • Sophie Bade

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

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    A robust feature of models of electoral competition between two opportunistic, purely office-motivated parties is that both parties become indistinguishable in equilibrium. I this short note, I show that this strong connection between the office motivation of parties and their equilibrium choice of identical platforms depends on the following two - possibly counterfactual - assumptions: 1. Issue spaces are uni-dimensional and 2. Parties are unitary actors whose preferences can be represented by expected utility functions. The main goal here is to provide an example of a two-party model in which parties offer substantially different platforms in equilibrium even though no exogenous asymmetries are assumed. In this example, some voters’ preferences over the 2-dimensional issue space are assumed to exhibit non-convexities and parties evaluate their actions with respect to a set of beliefs on the electorate.

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    File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2011_25online.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2011_25.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_25
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    1. Barbera, S. & Gul, F. & Stacchetti, E., 1992. "Generalized Median Voter Schemes and Committees," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 184.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    2. Sandro Brusco & Marcin Dziubinski & Jaideep Roy, 2010. "The Hotelling-Downs Model with Runoff Voting," Department of Economics Working Papers 10-02, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    3. Davis, Otto A & DeGroot, Morris H & Hinich, Melvin J, 1972. "Social Preference Orderings and Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 147-57, January.
    4. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2008. "Uncertainty Averse Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 77, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    5. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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