Targeted Campaign Competition, Loyal Voters, and Supermajorities

37 Pages Posted: 8 May 2017

See all articles by Pierre Boyer

Pierre Boyer

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Brian Roberson

Purdue University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 04, 2017

Abstract

We consider campaign competition in which candidates compete for votes among a continuum of voters by engaging in persuasive efforts that are targetable. Each individual voter is persuaded by campaign effort and votes for the candidate who targets more persuasive effort to this voter. Each candidate chooses a level of total campaign effort and allocates their effort among the set of voters. We completely characterize equilibrium for the majoritarian objective game and compare that to the vote-share maximizing game. If the candidates are symmetric ex ante, both types of electoral competition dissipate the rents from office in expectation. However, the equilibria arising under the two electoral objectives qualitatively differ. In majoritarian elections, candidates randomize over their level of total campaign effort, which provides support for the puzzling phenomenon of the emergence of supermajorities in majoritarian systems. Vote-share maximization leads to an equilibrium in which both candidates make deterministic budget choices and reach a precise fifty-fifty split of vote shares. We also study how asymmetry between the candidates affects the equilibrium. If some share of the voters is loyal to one of the candidates, then both candidates expend the same expected efforts in equilibrium, but the advantaged candidate wins with higher probability for majoritarian voting or a higher share of voters for vote-share maximization.

Keywords: campaign competition, continuous general lotto game, vote buying, flexible budgets, supermajorities, loyal voters

JEL Classification: D720, D780, D820

Suggested Citation

Boyer, Pierre C. and Konrad, Kai A. and Roberson, Brian, Targeted Campaign Competition, Loyal Voters, and Supermajorities (April 04, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6409. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964770

Pierre C. Boyer (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91120
France

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/home.cfm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

90-98 Goswell Road
London, EC1V 7RR
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, 53072
Germany

Brian Roberson

Purdue University - Department of Economics ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

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