Extreme idealism and equilibrium in the Hotelling–Downs model of political competition
David Ronayne ()
Public Choice, 2018, vol. 176, issue 3, 389-403
Abstract In the classic Hotelling–Downs model of political competition, no pure strategy equilibrium with three or more strategic candidates exists when the distribution of voters’ preferred policies is unimodal. I study the effect of introducing two idealist candidates to the model who are non-strategic (i.e., fixed to their policy platforms), while allowing for an unlimited number of strategic candidates. Doing so, I show that equilibrium is restored for a non-degenerate set of unimodal distributions. In addition, the equilibria have the following features: (1) the left-most and right-most candidates (i.e., extremists) are idealists; (2) strategic candidates never share their policy platforms, which instead are spread out across the policy space; and (3) if more than one strategic candidate enters, the distribution of voter preferences must be asymmetric. I also show that equilibria can accommodate idealist fringes of candidates toward the extremes of the political spectrum.
Keywords: Hotelling–Downs; Political competition; Equilibrium existence; Idealism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Working Paper: Extreme Idealism and Equilibrium in the Hotelling-Downs Model of Political Competition (2016)
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