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The Binary Policy Model
Journal of Economic Theory (2010)
  • Stefan Krasa
  • Mattias K Polborn
We introduce a tractable multi-issue model of electoral competition in which candidates are exogenously committed to particular positions on a subset of issues, while they can choose a sequence of binary positions for the remaining issues to maximize their winning probability. A majority-efficient position is defined as one where a candidate cannot make a majority of the electorate better off, taking as given his fixed positions. We characterize conditions for majority-efficient positions to exist. In contrast to models where candidates can choose all relevant positions, the candidates' fixed positions in our framework imply that only some voters are {\em swing voters}. Whether candidates choose majority-efficient or majority-inefficient positions depends on properties of the distribution of these swing voters. We also use our framework to analyze plurality rule and runoff rule in elections with multiple candidates.
Publication Date
March, 2010
Citation Information
Stefan Krasa and Mattias K Polborn. "The Binary Policy Model" Journal of Economic Theory Vol. 145 Iss. 2 (2010)
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