Divergent Platforms

27 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2011

See all articles by Sophie Bade

Sophie Bade

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: October 1, 2011


A robust feature of models of electoral competition between two opportunistic, purely office-motivated parties is that both parties become indistinguishable in equilibrium. I this short note, I show that this strong connection between the office motivation of parties and their equilibrium choice of identical platforms depends on the following two – possibly counterfactual – assumptions: Issue spaces are uni-dimensional and Parties are unitary actors whose preferences can be represented by expected utility functions. The main goal here is to provide an example of a two-party model in which parties offer substantially different platforms in equilibrium even though no exogenous asymmetries are assumed. In this example, some voters’ preferences over the 2-dimensional issue space are assumed to exhibit non-convexities and parties evaluate their actions with respect to a set of beliefs on the electorate.

Keywords: downs model, games with incomplete preferences, platform divergence, knightian uncertainty, uncertainty aversion

JEL Classification: D81, D72, C79

Suggested Citation

Bade, Sophie, Divergent Platforms (October 1, 2011). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2011/25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1946736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1946736

Sophie Bade (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113

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