Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University
Extremism, Campaigning and Ambiguity
Abstract: This paper studies a model of how political parties use
resources for campaigning to inform voters. We show existence of
equilibrium under mild assumptions for an arbitrary number of parties. The
main result is that if the parties are more extreme, then they spend less
resources on campaigning (on average), compared with moderate parties. The
reason is the following. Consider voters that are informed by one party
only, say party 1. If both parties move closer to each other, then the
actual and expected platform moves closer to the indifferent voters peak.
By concavity of preferences, the increase in payoff of voting for the party
that informed is bigger than the increase in payoff of voting for the other
party. Thus, the previously indifferent voter now strictly prefers party 1.
The effect makes parties gain more votes by informing when parties are
moderate. Since spending increases, voters are (on average) more informed
when parties are moderates.
Keywords: Political Parties; Campaigning; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C72; D72; D89; (follow links to similar papers)
46 pages, May 11, 1999
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- This paper is published as:
Westermark, Andreas, (2004), 'Extremism, Campaigning and Ambiguity', Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 47, No. 2, pages 421-452
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