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Electoral competition with privately-informed candidates

Bernhardt, Dan and Duggan, John and Squintani, Francesco (2007) Electoral competition with privately-informed candidates. Games and Economic Behavior, 58 . pp. 1-29. ISSN 0899-8256. doi:10.1016/j.geb.2006.03.004.

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This paper formulates and analyzes a general model of elections in which candidates receive private signals about voters’ preferences prior to committing to political platforms. We fully characterize the unique pure-strategy equilibrium: After receiving her signal, each candidate locates at the median of the distribution of the median voter’s location, conditional on the other candidate receiving the same signal. Sufficient conditions for the existence of pure strategy equilibrium are provided. Though the electoral game exhibits discontinuous payoffs for the candidates, we prove that mixed strategy equilibria exist generally, that equilibrium expected payoffs are continuous in the parameters of the model, and that mixed strategy equilibria are upper hemicontinuous. This allows us to study the robustness of the median voter theorem to private information: Pure strategy equilibria may fail to exist in models “close” to the Downsian model, but mixed strategy equilibria must, and they will be “close” to the Downsian equilibrium.

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Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier Inc. Received 25 August 2004; Available online 18 April 2006. We thank Jean-Francois Mertens for helpful discussions during his visit to the Wallis Institute of Political Economy at the University of Rochester. The paper also benefited from discussions with Roger Myerson and Tom Palfrey. Dan Bernhardt gratefully acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation, grant number SES-0317700. John Duggan gratefully acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation, grant number SES-0213738. Formerly SSWP 1168.
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Classification Code:JEL: C72, D72, D78
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171103-160525087
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82963
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:06 Nov 2017 21:30
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:54

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