A decade of experimental research on spatial models of elections and committees
The Euclidean representation of political issues and alternative outcomes, and the associated representation of preferences as quasiconcave utility functions, is by now a staple of formal models of committees and elections. This theoretical development, moreover, is accompanied by a considerable body of experimental research. We can view that research in two ways: as a test of the basic propositions about equilibria in specific institutional settings, and as an attempt to gain insights into those aspects of political processes that are poorly understood or imperfectly modeled, such as the robustness of theoretical results with respect to procedural details and bargaining environments. This essay reviews that research so that we can gain some sense of its overall import.