Policy convergence in a two-candidate probabilistic voting model

Zakharov, A. V. and Sorokin, C. S. (2014) Policy convergence in a two-candidate probabilistic voting model. Social Choice and Welfare, 43(2), pp. 429-446. (doi: 10.1007/s00355-013-0786-3)

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We propose a generalization of the probabilistic voting model in twocandidate elections. We allow the candidates have general von Neumann–Morgenstern utility functions defined over the voting outcomes. We show that the candidates will choose identical policy positions only if the electoral competition game is constantsum, such as when both candidates are probability-of-win maximizers or vote share maximizers, or for a small set of functions that for each voter define the probability of voting for each candidate, given candidate policy positions. At the same time, a purestrategy local Nash equilibrium (in which the candidates do not necessarily choose identical positions) exists for a large set of such functions. Hence, if the candidate payoffs are unrestricted, the “mean voter theorem” for probabilistic voting models is shown to hold only for a small set of probability of vote functions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sorokin, Dr Constantine
Authors: Zakharov, A. V., and Sorokin, C. S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Social Choice and Welfare
ISSN (Online):1432-217X
Published Online:28 December 2013

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