The pronouncements of paranoid politicians
This paper models the strategic encounter of two office-motivated candidates who may or may not announce policy. In the case of no announcement, the voters rank the candidates according to prior beliefs. In the case of announcement, the candidates cannot avoid a degree of noise in the voters' interpretation of their announcements. We show that this simple deviation from the standard Downsian setting suffices to overcome previous impossibility results which suggest that not announcing policy can never occur in equilibrium. Also, we extend the model to study the equilibrium when candidates are ambiguity averse. An ambiguity averse candidate is interpreted as being concerned about an ongoing negative campaign against him. This negative campaign would consist in inducing the voters to adopt some interpretation of the candidate's announcement unfavorable to his electoral performance. We show that under ambiguity aversion the candidates opt not to announce position under less stringent conditions than expected utility. Finally, we use data on U.S. Senate elections to test an empirical implication of the model. We find that the relevant coefficient has the sign predicted by the theory and is statistically significant.
|Date of creation:||10 Aug 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Adams, James, 1999. "Multiparty Spatial Competition with Probabilistic Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 259-74, June.
- Enriqueta AragonÃ¨s & Zvika Neeman, 2000. "Strategic Ambiguity in Electoral Competition," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 12(2), pages 183-204, April.
- Morelli, Massimo, 1998.
"Party Formation and Policy Outcomes Under Different Electoral Systems,"
Staff General Research Papers Archive
1242, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
- Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Economics Working Papers 0018, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2001.
RCER Working Papers
485, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Marcus Berliant & Hideo Konishi, 2004.
"Salience: Agenda Choices by Competing Candidates,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
603, Boston College Department of Economics.
- McKelvey, Richard D. & Patty, John W., 2006. "A theory of voting in large elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 155-180, October.
- Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006.
"Dynamic variational preferences,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 4-44, May.
- Cramer,J. S., 2003.
"Logit Models from Economics and Other Fields,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521815888, November.
- Itzhak Gilboa & David Scheidler, 1993.
"Updating Ambiguous Beliefs,"
- Enriqueta Aragonés & Andrew Postlewaite, 1999. "Ambiguity in election games," Economics Working Papers 364, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Enriqueta Aragonés & Zvika Neeman, 1994.
"Strategic ambiguity in electoral competition,"
Economics Working Papers
162, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1996.
- Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1989.
"Maxmin Expected Utility with Non-Unique Prior,"
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas Palfrey & Andrew Postlewaite, 2007.
"Political Reputations and Campaign Promises,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 846-884, 06.
- Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005.
"Media Bias and Reputation,"
NBER Working Papers
11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Osborne, Martin J., 2000. "Entry-deterring policy differentiation by electoral candidates," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-62, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4473. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.