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A Model of Presidential Debates

Doron Klunover and John Morgan

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: Presidential debates are viewed as providing an important public good by revealing information on candidates to voters. We consider an endogenous model of presidential debates in which an incumbent and a challenger (who is privately informed about her own quality) publicly announce whether they are willing to participate in a public debate, taking into account that a voter's choice of candidate depends on her beliefs regarding the candidates' qualities and on the state of nature.It is found that in equilibrium a debate occurs or does not occur independently of the challenger's quality and therefore the candidates' announcements are uninformative. This is because opting-out is perceived to be worse than losing a debate and therefore the challenger never refuses to participate.

Date: 2019-07, Revised 2020-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic and nep-pol
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