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Candidates' Uncertainty and Error Distribution Models in Electoral Competitions

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  • Bagh, Adib

Abstract

Error distribution models provide a simple and convenient approach for introducing candidates' uncertainty in voting models. In such models, given a profile of announced strategies by the players, each candidate can compute the fraction of voters that will vote for him but only up to a random error. We show that the standard practice of assuming that the random error term enters the model additively and that it is independent of the announced policies actually leads to logical inconsistencies. Specifically, we list three assumptions that are frequently imposed when the error distribution approach is used. We then show that, under such assumptions, the error distribution models imply that some candidates believe that certain logically impossible events can take place with a strictly positive probability. We propose a modification of error distribution models that circumvents this problem. Moreover, for electoral competition between two candidates over a unidimensional policy space, our modified model allows us to investigate the pure strategy strategy Nash equilibria of voting games that incorporate voter bias as well as incorporating disagreement between the candidates regarding the preferences of the voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Bagh, Adib, 2014. "Candidates' Uncertainty and Error Distribution Models in Electoral Competitions," MPRA Paper 77631, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:77631
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/77631/1/MPRA_paper_77631.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Drouvelis, Michalis & Saporiti, Alejandro & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2014. "Political motivations and electoral competition: Equilibrium analysis and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 86-115.
    2. Jon Eguia, 2007. "Citizen candidates under uncertainty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(2), pages 317-331, September.
    3. Ingemar Hansson & Charles Stuart, 1984. "Voting competitions with interested politicians: Platforms do not converge to the preferences of the median voter," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 431-441, January.
    4. Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On the Existence of Pure and Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Discontinuous Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1029-1056, September.
    5. Jacob Goeree & Jens Gro├čer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:04:p:1103-1126_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. John E. Roemer, 1997. "Political-economic equilibrium when parties represent constituents: The unidimensional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 14(4), pages 479-502.
    8. Richard Ball, 1999. "Discontinuity and non-existence of equilibrium in the probabilistic spatial voting model," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(4), pages 533-555.
    9. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Probabilistic voting models; error distribution models; voter bias; non-policy preferences; Nash Equilibrium.;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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