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Characterization of multidimensional spatial models of elections with a valence dimension


  • Azrieli, Yaron


Spatial models of political competition are typically based on two assumptions. One is that all the voters identically perceive the platforms of the candidates and agree about their score on a "valence" dimension. The second is that each voter's preferences over policies are decreasing in the distance from that voter's ideal point, and that valence scores enter the utility function in an additively separable way. The goal of this paper is to examine the restrictions that these two assumptions impose, starting from a more primitive (and observable) data. Specifically, we consider the case where only the ideal point in the policy space and the ranking over candidates are known for each voter. We provide necessary and su±cient conditions for this collection of preference relations to be consistent with utility maximization as in the standard models described above. That is, we characterize the case where there are policies x1,...,xm for the m candidates and numbers v1,...,vm representing valence scores, such that a voter with an ideal policy y ranks the candidates according to vi-||xi-y||^2.

Suggested Citation

  • Azrieli, Yaron, 2009. "Characterization of multidimensional spatial models of elections with a valence dimension," MPRA Paper 14513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14513

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arianna Degan, 2007. "Candidate Valence: Evidence From Consecutive Presidential Elections," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 457-482, May.
    2. Dix, Manfred & Santore, Rudy, 2002. "Candidate ability and platform choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-194, July.
    3. Gilboa,Itzhak & Schmeidler,David, 2001. "A Theory of Case-Based Decisions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521802345, March.
    4. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    5. Norman Schofield, 2007. "The Mean Voter Theorem: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Convergent Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 965-980.
    6. Yaron Azrieli & Ehud Lehrer, 2004. "Categorization generated by prototypes -- an axiomatic approach," Game Theory and Information 0405003, EconWPA.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2005:i:18:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
    9. Smith, John H, 1973. "Aggregation of Preferences with Variable Electorate," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1027-1041, November.
    10. Gersbach, Hans, 1998. "Communication skills and competition for donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-18, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jäger, Gerhard & Koch-Metzger, Lars & Riedel, Frank, 2011. "Voronoi languages. Equilibria in cheap-talk games with high-dimensional types and few signals," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 420, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    2. Eguia, Jon X., 2011. "Foundations of spatial preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 200-205, March.
    3. Jäger, Gerhard & Metzger, Lars P. & Riedel, Frank, 2011. "Voronoi languages," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 517-537.

    More about this item


    Elections; Spatial model; Valence; Euclidean preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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