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Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate

Author

Listed:
  • Enriqueta Aragonés
  • Thomas R. Palfrey

Abstract

This paper examines competition in the standard one- dimensional Downsian model of two-candidate elections, but where one candidate (A) enjoys an advantage over the other candidate (D). Voters' preferences are Euclidean, but any voter will vote for candidate A over candidate D unless D is closer to her ideal point by some fixed distance \delta. The location of the median voter's ideal point is uncertain, and its distribution is commonly known by both candidates. The candidates simultaneously choose locations to maximize the probability of victory. Pure strategy equilibria often fails to exist in this model, except under special conditions about \delta and the distribution of the median ideal point. We solve for the essentially unique symmetric mixed equilibrium, show that candidate A adopts more moderate policies than candidate D, and obtain some comparative statics results about the probability of victory and the expected distance between the two candidates' policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:502
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:70:y:1976:i:03:p:779-805_17 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:57:y:1963:i:02:p:368-377_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
    7. Adams, James, 1999. "Policy Divergence in Multicandidate Probabilistic Spatial Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 103-122, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial competition; mixed strategies; candidate quality;

    JEL classification:

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

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