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Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Downsian Dynamics

  • Laussel, Didier
  • Le Breton, Michel
  • Xefteris, Dimitrios

The main purpose of this short paper is to examine how traditional Downsian dynamics (convergence of the parties to the median of the distribution) are altered by the introduction of centrifugal incentives arising from the fact that any motion towards the center induces a lost of votes at the extremes of the electorate. Our analysis provides a new rationale for platform differentiation. It also yields new insights in the case when centripetal incentives are dominant on one side of the political spectrum while centrifugal incentives take over on the other side. This may apply for instance to the 2012 French elections.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 13-405.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:27234
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  1. Humberto Llavador, 2015. "Electoral Platforms, Implemented Policies, and Abstention," Working Papers 34, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
  3. Cancian, Maria & Bills, Angela & Bergstrom, Theodore, 1995. "Hotelling Location Problems with Directional Constraints: An Application to Television News Scheduling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 121-24, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Enriqueta Aragon�, 2015. "Candidate quality in a Downsian Model with a Continuous Policy Space," Working Papers 529, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  7. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41, January.
  8. John E. Roemer, 1997. "Political-economic equilibrium when parties represent constituents: The unidimensional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 479-502.
  9. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  10. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26, January.
  11. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Equilibria in unidirectional spatial models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 146-149.
  12. Hummel, Patrick, 2010. "On the nature of equilibria in a Downsian model with candidate valence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 425-445, November.
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