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Political Motivations and Electoral Competition: Equilibrium Analysis and Experimental Evidence

  • Michalis Drouvelis

    ()

    (University of Birmingham)

  • Alejandro Saporiti

    ()

    (University of Manchester)

  • Nicolaas J. Vriend

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

We study both theoretically and experimentally the complete set of Nash equilibria of a classical one-dimensional, majority rule election game with two candidates, who might be interested in power as well as in ideology, but not necessarily in the same way. Apart from obtaining the well known median voter result and the two-sided policy differentiation outcome, the paper uncovers the existence of two new equilibrium configurations, called 'one-sided' and 'probabilistic' policy differentiation, respectively. Our analysis shows how these equilibrium configurations depend on the relative interests in power (resp., ideology) and the uncertainty about voters' preferences. The theoretical predictions are supported by the data collected from a series of laboratory experiments, as we observe convergence to the Nash equilibrium values at the aggregate as well as the individual levels in all treatments, and the comparative statics effects across treatments are as predicted by the theory.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 682.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp682
Note: A revision is available as Working Paper No. 710.
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  12. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  24. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
  25. Michael Peress, 2010. "The spatial model with non-policy factors: a theory of policy-motivated candidates," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 265-294, February.
  26. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
  27. Richard Ball, 1999. "Discontinuity and non-existence of equilibrium in the probabilistic spatial voting model," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 533-555.
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