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Salience: Agenda Choices by Competing Candidates

Author

Listed:
  • Marcus Berliant

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Hideo Konishi

    (Boston College)

Abstract

Which issues are discussed by candidates in an election campaign? Why are some issues never discussed? Model tractability is lost quickly when dealing with these questions, partly because of the multidimensional voting inherent in models of multiple issues. Our model features two candidates for office who can talk about any subset of issues, allowing uncertainty both on the part of voters and candidates, and taking candidates to be office motivated. Candidates move first and simultaneously, announcing any positions they choose on any issues. To us, salience is simply the discussion of an issue in a campaign. If both candidates and voters are expected utility maximizers, we find salience results, in that candidates typically want to talk about everything (or they are indifferent between talking and nonsalience). Leaving the expected utility framework, we present an example using “Knightian uncertainty” or “maxmin expected utility with multiple priors” of Gilboa-Schmeidler to illustrate how robust nonsalience and salience of issues might be generated.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Berliant & Hideo Konishi, 2004. "Salience: Agenda Choices by Competing Candidates," Game Theory and Information 0407003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0407003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2012. "Political Awareness and Microtargeting of Voters in Electoral Competition," Working Papers 124, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    2. Takao Asano & Akihisa Shibata, 2011. "Risk and uncertainty in health investment," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 12(1), pages 79-85, February.
    3. Osório, António (António Miguel), 2018. "Conflict and Competition over Multi-Issues," Working Papers 2072/306550, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    4. Schipper, Burkhard C. & Woo, Hee Yeul, 2019. "Political Awareness, Microtargeting of Voters, and Negative Electoral Campaigning," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 14(1), pages 41-88, January.
    5. Giray Gozgor, 2020. "The Role of Economic Uncertainty in Rising Populism in the EU," CESifo Working Paper Series 8499, CESifo.
    6. Zhang, Qiaoxi, 2020. "Vagueness in multidimensional proposals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 307-328.
    7. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2014. "Political Awareness, Microtargeting of Voters, and Negative Electoral Campaigning," Working Papers 148, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    8. Berliant, Marcus & Gouveia, Miguel, 2022. "On the Political Economy of Nonlinear Income Taxation," MPRA Paper 113140, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Guido, Cataife, 2007. "The pronouncements of paranoid politicians," MPRA Paper 4473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Burkhard Schipper & Hee Yeul Woo, 2012. "Political Awareness and Microtargeting of Voters in Electoral Competition," Working Papers 46, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    11. Kishishita, Daiki, 2020. "(Not) delegating decisions to experts: The effect of uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    12. Bade, Sophie, 2011. "Electoral competition with uncertainty averse parties," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 12-29, May.
    13. Hideo Konishi & Chen-Yu Pan, 2020. "Silent promotion of agendas: campaign contributions and ideological polarization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 182(1), pages 93-117, January.
    14. Yasushi Asako, 2019. "Strategic Ambiguity with Probabilistic Voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 31(4), pages 626-641, October.
    15. Hideo Konishi & Chen-Yu Pan, 2017. "Campaign Contributions for Free Trade: Salient and Non-salient Agendas," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 926, Boston College Department of Economics.
    16. Giray Gozgor, 2022. "The role of economic uncertainty in the rise of EU populism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 190(1), pages 229-246, January.
    17. Libby Jenke & Michael Munger, 2022. "Attention distribution as a measure of issue salience," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 191(3), pages 405-416, June.
    18. Daiki Kishishita, 2018. "Emergence of populism under ambiguity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(6), pages 1559-1562, December.
    19. Arnaud Dellis, 2009. "The Salient Issue of Issue Salience," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 203-231, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Salience; Candidate Competition; Elections; Knightian Uncertainty; Non-Expected Utility Theory; Maxmin Expected Utility with Multiple Priors; Gilboa-Schmeidler; Ambiguity Aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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