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Contest with Attack and Defence: Does Negative Campaigning Increase or Decrease Voters' Turnout?

Author

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  • raphael soubeyran

    (GREQAM)

Abstract

We present a general model of two players contest with two types of efforts. Contrary to the classical models of contest, where each player chooses a unique effort, and where the outcome depends on the efforts of all the players, contestants are allowed to reduce the effort of the opponent. Defence increases one's chance of winning while attack annihilates the defence of the opponent. This model has many applications like political campaigning, wars, competition among lobbies, job promotion competitions, or sport contests. We study the general model of contest with attacks and defence and propose an application to negative political campaigns, where two candidates arbitrate between disparaging their opponent or enhancing their own image. We propose sufficient conditions for the existence and uniqueness of a symmetric Nash equilibrium of the contest game. In the application, we contribute to the empirically debated question dealing with the effect of attack on voters turnout, and show that the conclusion depends on the distribution of voters sensitivity to defence and attack. Furthermore, contrary to the literature, we show that an underdog candidate may be less aggressive than his opponent.

Suggested Citation

  • raphael soubeyran, 2005. "Contest with Attack and Defence: Does Negative Campaigning Increase or Decrease Voters' Turnout?," Public Economics 0510018, EconWPA, revised 23 Oct 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0510018
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/pe/papers/0510/0510018.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Hess, Gregory D., 1996. "A Spatial Theory of Positive and Negative Campaigning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-229, December.
    3. Konrad, Kai A, 2000. "Sabotage in Rent-Seeking Contests," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 155-165, April.
    4. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
    5. Cesar Martinelli & Helios Herrera & David K. Levine, 2004. "Voting Leaders and Voting Participation," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 319, Econometric Society.
    6. Christine Harbring & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Kräkel & Reinhard Selten, 2004. "Sabotage in Asymmetric Contests – An Experimental Analysis," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
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    8. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
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    11. Kong-Pin Chen, 2003. "Sabotage in Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 119-140, April.
    12. Polborn, Mattias K. & David T., Yi, 2006. "Informative Positive and Negative Campaigning," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 351-371, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Alasdair & Chowdhury, Subhasish M., 2017. "The hidden perils of affirmative action: Sabotage in handicap contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 273-284.
    2. Subhasish Chowdhury & Oliver Gürtler, 2015. "Sabotage in contests: a survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 135-155, July.
    3. Maria Arbatskaya & Hugo M. Mialon, 2012. "Dynamic Multi-Activity Contests," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 520-538, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contest; Rent-seeking; Negative Campaigning; Turnout; Sabotage.;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • 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

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