Electoral Competition Amongst Citizen-Candidates and Downsian Politicians
47 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2008 Last revised: 21 Dec 2010
Date Written: July 7, 2008
In this paper we study a model of political competition where citizens vote sincerely and candidates may be either citizens or Downsian politicians. The model extends the citizen-candidate model proposed by Osborne and Slivinski  by including Downsian politicians similar to those studied by Osborne . We give necessary and sufficient conditions for existence, together with complete characterisation, of one party and two party Nash equilibria in our model. An important feature, in view of the Duverger's Law, of the two-party equilibrium is that these equilibria cannot have any Downsian contestant. Moreover, we compare our model with that studied by Osborne and Slivinski , showing that in both cases there exist political configurations that can appear in one of the models only. We show also that in our settings it is possible to have Nash equilibria with Downsian candidates, without requiring to have very restrictive constraints on the distribution function. We also argue that as the number of parties in equilibrium increases, the 'likelihood' of an ideology driven citizen-candidate winning the elections and running the government falls. Finally we argue that in any equilibrium extremist parties proposing their policies uniquely are typically ideology-driven as well.
Keywords: Citizen-candidates, Downsian Politicians, Plurality Rule
JEL Classification: C70, D70, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation