A Caltech Library Service

Sequential Elections with Limited Information

McKelvey, Richard D. and Ordeshook, Peter C. (1984) Sequential Elections with Limited Information. Social Science Working Paper, 530. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF (sswp 530 - Jul. 1984) - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We develop theoretically and test experimentally a one dimensional model of two candidate competition with incomplete information. We consider a sequence of elections in which the same general issue predominates from election to election, but where the voters have no contemoporaneous information about the policy positions adopted by the candidates, and where the candidates have no contemporaneous information about the preferences of the voters. Instead, participants have access only to contemporaneous endorsement data of an interest group, and to historical policy positions of the previous winning candidates. We define a stationary rational expectations equilibrium to the resulting (repeated) game of incomplete information, and show that in equilibrium, all participants, voters and candidates alike, end up acting as if they had complete information: Voters end up voting for the correct candidate, and candidates end up converging to the median voter.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemPublished Version
Additional Information:Published as McKelvey, Richard D., and Peter C. Ordeshook. "Sequential elections with limited information." American Journal of Political Science (1985): 480-512.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Subject Keywords:Political candidates, Voting, Experimentation, Interest groups, Political interest groups, Mathematical models, Mixed strategy, Electorate, Voting behavior, Ballots
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:530
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170919-152059788
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81588
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:19 Sep 2017 22:42
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:44

Repository Staff Only: item control page