Directional Cheap Talk in Electoral Campaigns
37 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014 Last revised: 19 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 19, 2015
Can campaign communications credibly transmit information about candidates' policy intentions? To answer this question, I develop and analyze a game-theoretic model of campaign communication in a two-candidate majority rule election with multidimensional policies. Candidate and voter preferences are private information and campaigns consist of both candidates sending cheap talk messages in order to communicate information about their preferences. The game possesses equilibria involving informative campaign messages which reveal information about the directions of the candidates' ideal points from the center of the policy space but leave the voters uncertain about which candidate is more extreme.
Keywords: cheap talk, signaling, elections
JEL Classification: D70, D71, D72, D78, D82, D83
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