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Is the 50-State Strategy Optimal?

Author

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  • Dan Kovenock
  • Brian Roberson

Abstract

In 2005, the Democratic National Committee adopted the 50-state strategy in lieu of the strategy of focusing solely on battleground states. The rationale given for this move is that campaign expenditures are durable outlays that impact both current and future campaigns. This paper investigates the optimality of the 50-state strategy in a simple dynamic game of campaign resource allocation in which expenditures act as a form of investment. Neither the 50-state nor the battleground-states strategy is likely to arise in equilibrium. Instead, parties employ a modified battleground-states strategy in which they stochastically target non-battleground states.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2008. "Is the 50-State Strategy Optimal?," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1211, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1211
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:sochwe:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1027-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aner Sela & Noam Cohen & Maor Guy, 2016. "Two-Stage Elimination Contests with Optimal Head Starts," Working Papers 1611, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    3. Megidish, Reut & Sela, Aner, 2011. "Sequential Contests with Synergy and Budget Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 8383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Esteve-González, Patricia, 2016. "Moral hazard in repeated procurement of services," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 244-269.
    5. Aner Sela, 2016. "Two Stage Contests With Effort-Dependent Rewards," Working Papers 1612, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    6. Alex Krumer & Reut Megidish & Aner Sela, 2017. "First-mover advantage in round-robin tournaments," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(3), pages 633-658, March.
    7. repec:spr:reecde:v:21:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10058-017-0205-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Qiang Fu & Jingfeng Lu & Yue Pan, 2015. "Team Contests with Multiple Pairwise Battles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(7), pages 2120-2140, July.
    9. Anbarci, Nejat & Cingiz, Kutay & Ismail, Mehmet, 2018. "Multi-Battle n-Player Dynamic Contests," Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    10. Aner Sela, 2012. "Sequential two-prize contests," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 383-395, October.
    11. Aner Sela & Eyal Erez, 2013. "Dynamic contests with resource constraints," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(4), pages 863-882, October.
    12. Clark, Derek J. & Nilssen, Tore, 2018. "Beating the Matthew Effect: Head Starts and Catching Up in a Dynamic All-Pay Auction," Memorandum 2/2018, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    13. Aner Sela & Reut Megidish, 2012. "Sequential Contests With Synergy And Budget Constraints," Working Papers 1212, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    14. Sela, Aner, 2016. "Two-stage contests with effort-dependent rewards," CEPR Discussion Papers 11113, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Campaigns; Dynamic Contests; Elections; All-Pay Auction; War of Attrition;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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