Pandering and Electoral Competition

34 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012 Last revised: 16 Sep 2013

See all articles by Gabriele Gratton

Gabriele Gratton

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

Date Written: August 25, 2013


We study an election with two perfectly informed candidates. Voters share common values over the policy outcome of the election, but possess arbitrarily little information about which policy is best for them. Voters elect one of the candidates, effectively choosing between the two policies proposed by the candidates. We explore under which conditions candidates always propose the voters’ optimal policy. The model is extended to include strategic voting, policy-motivated candidates, imperfectly informed candidates, and heterogeneous preferences.

Keywords: pandering, elections, information aggregation

JEL Classification: D72, D82

Suggested Citation

Gratton, Gabriele, Pandering and Electoral Competition (August 25, 2013). UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2012 ECON22B, Available at SSRN: or

Gabriele Gratton (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052

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