Campaign Rhetoric and the Hide-&-Seek Game
We present a model of political campaigning where a candidate chooses between promoting oneself (positive campaign) or attacking the rival (negative campaign). The media validates the claims made by candidates, and the quality of a candidate is not fully revealed unless there is a debate about her suitability, i.e. she is the subject of both a positive and a negative campaign. Negative campaigns may be used either to expose the rival candidate (informative role) or to turn attention away from oneself (non-informative role). Our model suggests that in order to ascertain the effect of negative advertising, studies should take into account the profile of messages (i.e. messages employed by both candidates) rather than the individual message in isolation. Voter expectation about candidate quality plays a major role in campaign selection: while the incidence of negative campaigning goes down as the expected prior improves, the probability of selection of the correct candidate is non-monotonic in the said prior.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2011|
|Date of revision:||Nov 2012|
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- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997.
"Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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