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Multidimensional electoral competition between differentiated candidates

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  • Dimitrios Xefteris

Abstract

It is known that multidimensional Downsian competition fails to admit an equilibrium in pure strategies unless very stringent conditions on the distribution of voters’ bliss points are imposed (Plott 1967). This paper revisits this problem considering that the two vote share maximizing candidates are differentiated. That is, candidates strategically decide positions only in some of the n dimensions while in the rest their positions are assumed to be fixed. These fixed dimensions may be viewed as candidates’ immutable characteristics (race, religion, culture, etc.). We find that if candidates are sufficiently differentiated - if in the fixed dimensions their positions are sufficiently different - then a unique Nash equilibrium in pure strategies is guaranteed to exist for any distribution of voters’ bliss points. Perhaps more importantly, we show that this is true even if there exists a unique fixed dimension and candidates instrumentally decide their positions in all other n-1 dimensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitrios Xefteris, 2015. "Multidimensional electoral competition between differentiated candidates," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 01-2015, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:01-2015
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    2. Hughes, Niall, 2020. "Strategic Voting in Two-Party Legislative Elections," MPRA Paper 100363, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Knudson, Mathew, 2020. "Two candidate competition on differentiated policy sets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 413-434.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    electoral competition; multidimensional model; equilibrium existence; differentiated candidate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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