Strategic ambiguity in electoral competition
Many have observed that political candidates running for election are often purposefully expressing themselves in vague and ambiguous terms. In this paper we provide a simple formal model of this phenomenon. We model the electoral competition between two candidates as a two--stage game. In the first stage of the game two candidates simultaneously choose their ideologies, and in the second stage they simultaneously choose their level of ambiguity. Our results show that ambiguity, although disliked by voters, may be sustained in equilibrium. The introduction of ambiguity as a strategic choice variable for the candidates can also serve to explain why candidates with the same electoral objectives end up ``separating'', that is, assuming different ideological positions.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
- Hinich, Melvin J., 1977.
"Equilibrium in spatial voting: The median voter result is an artifact,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 208-219, December.
- Hinich, M., 1976. "Equilibrium in Spatial Voting: The Median Voter Result is an Artifact," Working Papers 119, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Richard McKelvey, 1980. "Ambiguity in spatial models of policy formation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 385-402, January.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1991.
"Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis,"
956, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Myerson Roger B., 1993. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 118-132, January.
- Rebecca B. Morton & Roger B. Myerson, 1992. "Campaign Spending with Impressionable Voters," Discussion Papers 1023, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Alberto Alesina & Alex Cukierman, 1987.
"The Politics of Ambiguity,"
NBER Working Papers
2468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:162. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.