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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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14513.

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Date of creation: 30 Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14513
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  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2005:i:18:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. 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, 05.
  3. 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.
  4. Yaron Azrieli & Ehud Lehrer, 2004. "Categorization generated by prototypes -- an axiomatic approach," Game Theory and Information 0405003, EconWPA.
  5. Dix, Manfred & Santore, Rudy, 2002. "Candidate ability and platform choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-194, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Gersbach, Hans, 1998. "Communication skills and competition for donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-18, February.
  8. Smith, John H, 1973. "Aggregation of Preferences with Variable Electorate," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1027-41, November.
  9. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
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