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Strategic ambiguity in electoral competition
Aragonés, Enriqueta; Neeman, Zvika
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Many have observed that political candidates running for election areoften purposefully expressing themselves in vague and ambiguous terms. In thispaper we provide a simple formal model of this phenomenon. We model theelectoral competition between two candidates as a two--stage game. In thefirst stage of the game two candidates simultaneously choose their ideologies,and in the second stage they simultaneously choose their level of ambiguity.Our results show that ambiguity, although disliked by voters, may be sustainedin equilibrium. The introduction of ambiguity as a strategic choice variablefor the candidates can also serve to explain why candidates with the sameelectoral objectives end up ``separating'', that is, assuming different ideological positions.
15-09-2005
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
ambiguous platforms
ideological differentiation
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