Are Voters Cursed When Politicians Conceal Policy Preferences?
38 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 26, 2016
In campaigns, candidates often avoid taking positions on issues, concealing the policy preferences that would guide them if elected. This paper develops a model of candidate competition in which candidates can choose whether or not to announce their policy preferences to voters. It applies Eyster and Rabin's (2005) concept of cursed equilibrium, which allows for varying degrees of understanding of the connection between type (policy preference) and strategy (whether to announce). If voters do not sufficiently appreciate the informational content of a non-announcement, unraveling will not occur and both extremists and more moderate candidates will not announce positions.
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