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Elections and strategic positioning games

By Frank H. Page and Myrna Holtz Wooders


We formalize the interplay between expected voting behavior and stragetic positioning behavior of candidates as a common agency problem in which the candidates (i.e. the principals) compete for voters (i.e. agents) via the issues they choose and the positions they take. A political situation is defined as a feasible combination of candidate positions and expected political payoffs to the candidates. Taking this approach, we are led naturally to a particular formalization of the candidates’ positioning game, called a political situation game. Within the context of this game, we define the notion of farsighted stability (introduced in an abstract setting by Chwe (1994)) and apply Chwe’s result to obtain existence of farsightedly stable outcomes. We compute the farsightedly stable sets for several examples of political situations games, with outcomes that conform to real-world observations

Topics: JF, HM
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2002
OAI identifier:

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