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Political Competition Between Differentiated Candidates
Games and Economic Behavior (2012)
  • Stefan Krasa
  • Mattias K Polborn
We introduce a framework of electoral competition in which voters have general preferences over candidates' immutable characteristics (such as gender, race or previously committed policy positions) and flexible policy positions. Candidates are uncertain about the distribution of voter preferences and choose policy positions to maximize their winning probability. We characterize a property of voter utility functions (``uniform candidate ranking'', UCR) that captures a form of separability between fixed characteristics and policy. When voters have UCR preferences, candidates' equilibrium policies converge in any strict equilibrium. In contrast, notions like competence or complementarity lead to non-UCR preferences and policy divergence. In particular, we introduce a new class of models that contains the probabilistic voting model as a special case and in which there is a unique equilibrium that generically features policy divergence.
  • Multidimensional policy,
  • voting,
  • issue ownership,
  • normative analysis of political competition
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Citation Information
Stefan Krasa and Mattias K Polborn. "Political Competition Between Differentiated Candidates" Games and Economic Behavior (2012)
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