IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Spatial Competition


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


This paper studies the effects of introducing centrifugal incentives in an otherwise standard Downsian model of electoral competition. First, we demonstrate that a symmetric equilibrium is guaranteed to exist when centrifugal incentives are induced by any kind of partial voter participation (such as abstention due to indifference, abstention due to alienation, etc.) and, then, we argue that: a) this symmetric equilibrium is in pure strategies, and it is hence convergent, only when centrifugal incentives are sufficiently weak on both sides; b) when centrifugal incentives are strong on both sides (when, for example, a lot of voters abstain when they are su¢ ciently indifferent between the two candidates) players use mixed strategies - the stronger the centrifugal incentives, the larger the probability weight that players assign to locations near the extremes; and c) when centrifugal incentives are strong on one side only - say for example only on the right - the support of players'mixed strategies contain all policies except from those that are su¢ ciently close to the left extreme.

Suggested Citation

  • Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2016. "Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Spatial Competition," TSE Working Papers 16-618, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:30125

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2013. "Equilibria in unidirectional spatial models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 146-149.
    3. Fey, Mark, 2012. "Symmetric games with only asymmetric equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 424-427.
    4. repec:wly:iecrev:v:58:y:2017:i::p:439-471 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    6. Samuel Merrill III & James Adams, 2002. "Centrifugal Incentives in Multi-Candidate Elections," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 14(3), pages 275-300, July.
    7. Konstantinos Matakos & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2014. "Turnout and polarization under alternative electoral systems," Working Papers 77401404, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    8. Enriqueta Aragonès & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2017. "Imperfectly Informed Voters And Strategic Extremism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 439-471, May.
    9. Glazer, Amihai & Grofman, Bernard & Owen, Guillermo, 1998. "A Neo-Downsian Model of Group-Oriented Voting and Racial Backlash," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 23-34, October.
    10. Indridi H Indridason, 2013. "Expressive motives and third-party candidates," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 25(2), pages 182-213, April.
    11. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    12. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    13. Hortala-Vallve, Rafael & Esteve-Volart, Berta, 2011. "Voter turnout and electoral competition in a multidimensional policy space," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 376-384, June.
    14. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41.
    15. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2015. "Symmetric zero-sum games with only asymmetric equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 122-125.
    16. 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 121-124, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Electoral Competition; Spatial Model; Downs; Mixed equilibria; Centrifugal incentives; Abstention;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:30125. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.