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Elections and Strategic Positioning Games

  • Frank H. Page, Jr.
  • Myrna H. Wooders

We formalize the interplay between expected voting behavior and stragetic positioning behavior of candidates as a common agency problem in which the candidates (i.e., the principals) compete for voters (i.e., agents) via the issues they choose and the positions they take. A political situation is defined as a feasible combination of candidate positions and expected political payoffs to the candidates. Taking this approach, we are led naturally to a particular formalization of the candidates positioning game, called a political situation game. Within the context of this game, we define the notion of farsighted stability (introduced in an abstract setting by Chwe (1994)) and apply Chwe s result to obtain existence of farsightedly stable outcomes. We compute the farsightedly stable sets for several examples of political situations games, with outcomes that conform to real-world observations.

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File URL: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/UT-ECIPA-MWOODERS-00-04.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number mwooders-00-04.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 11 Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:mwooders-00-04
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  1. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Martin J. Osborne, 1992. "Candidate Positioning and Entry in a Political Competition," Department of Economics Working Papers 1992-02, McMaster University.
  3. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  5. Chwe Michael Suk-Young, 1994. "Farsighted Coalitional Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 299-325, August.
  6. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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