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Electoral Campaigns as Dynamic Contests

Avidit Acharya (), Takuo Sugaya () and Eray Turkel ()
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Avidit Acharya: Stanford University, and the Hoover Institution Author-Name: Edoardo Grillo
Takuo Sugaya: Stanford University
Eray Turkel: Stanford University

No 293, "Marco Fanno" Working Papers from Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno"

Abstract: We develop a model of electoral campaigns as dynamic contests in which two office-motivated candidates allocate their budgets over time to affect their odds of winning. We measure the candidates’ evolving odds of winning using a state variable that tends to decay over time, and we refer to it as the can- didates’ “relative popularity.” In our baseline model, the equilibrium ratio of spending by each candidate equals the ratio of their initial budgets; spending is independent of past realizations of relative popularity; and there is a positive relationship between the strength of decay in the popularity process and the rate at which candidates increase their spending over time as election day ap- proaches. We use this relationship to recover estimates of the perceived decay rate in popularity leads in actual U.S. subnational elections.

Keywords: campaigns; dynamic allocation problems; contests (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 52 pages
Date: 2022-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic and nep-pol
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