Candidate Objectives and Electoral Equilibrium

John Duggan

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548477
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Candidate Objectives and Electoral Equilibrium

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  • Politics
  • Political Economy
  • Political Behaviour



This article looks at the known foundational results on spatial models of elections. The issues of equilibrium existence, the characterization of equilibria (in terms of their social welfare properties), and the distance between equilibrium policy and positions of the candidates are examined. It then discusses the results of the case where candidates are able to give precise predictions of voters' behaviour precisely; the article also introduces the ‘Downsian model’. The article looks at two models of probabilistic voting, before finally moving on to consider the most common objective functions that are used to model the electoral incentives of different types of candidates.

Keywords: spatial models of elections; known foundational results; equilibrium existence; characterization of equilibria; Downsian model; models of probabilistic voting; electoral incentives

Article.  7876 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Economy ; Political Behaviour

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