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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Theoretical Economics >
Volume 2, Number 1 (March 2007) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9579

Title: Party platforms in electoral competition with heterogeneous constituencies
Authors: Erik Eyster; London School of Economics
Thomas Kittsteiner; London School of Economics
Keywords: Political parties, median voter, Hotelling competition
C72
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2007
Publisher: Theoretical Economics
Citation: Theoretical Economics; Vol 2, No 1 (2007); 41-70
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy. To view the original, visit http://econtheory.org/] This paper shows how political parties differentiate to reduce electoral competition. Two parties choose platforms in a unidimensional policy space, and then candidates from these parties compete for votes in a continuum of constituencies with different median voters. Departing from their parties' platforms is costly enough that candidates do not take the median voter's preferred position in every constituency. Because the candidate whose party is located closer to the median voter gets a higher expected payoff, parties acting in their candidates' best interests differentiate---when one party locates right of center, the other prefers to locate strictly left of center to carve out a "home turf,'' constituencies that can be won with little to no deviation from the platform of the candidate's party. Hence, competition that pulls candidates together pushes parties apart. Decreasing "campaign costs'' increases party differentiation as the leftist party must move further from the rightist party to carve out its home turf, as does increasing heterogeneity across constituencies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9579
Other Identifiers: http://econtheory.org/ojs/index.php/te/article/view/20070041
Rights: Authors who publish in <i>Theoretical Economics</i> will release their articles under the <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license</a>. This license allows anyone to copy and distribute the article for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given.
Appears in Collections:Volume 2, Number 1 (March 2007)

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