A Caltech Library Service

Probabilistic Voting in the Spatial Model of Elections: The Theory of Office-motivated Candidates

Banks, Jeffrey S. and Duggan, John (2005) Probabilistic Voting in the Spatial Model of Elections: The Theory of Office-motivated Candidates. In: Social Choice and Strategic Decisions. Studies in Choice and Welfare. Springer-Verlag , New York, NY, pp. 15-56. ISBN 978-3-540-22053-4.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We unify and extend much of the literature on probabilistic voting in two-candidate elections. We give existence results for mixed and pure strategy equilibria of the electoral game. We prove general results on optimality of pure strategy equilibria vis-a-vis a weighted utilitarian social welfare function, and we derive the well-known “mean voter” result as a special case. We establish broad conditions under which pure strategy equilibria exhibit “policy coincidence,” in the sense that candidates pick identical platforms. We establish the robustness of equilibria with respect to variations in demographic and informational parameters. We show that mixed and pure strategy equilibria of the game must be close to being in the majority rule core when the core is close to non-empty and voters are close to deterministic. This controverts the notion that the median (in a one-dimensional model) is a mere “artifact.” Using an equivalence between a class of models including the binary Luce model and a class including additive utility shock models, we then derive a general result on optimality vis-a-vis the Nash social welfare function.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2005 Springer-Verlag. The second author gratefully acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation, grant number SES-0213738.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Series Name:Studies in Choice and Welfare
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160525-144351615
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67363
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 May 2016 20:20
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 00:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page