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Conflicted voters: a spatial voting model with multiple party identification

Conflicted voters: a spatial voting model with multiple party identification
Conflicted voters: a spatial voting model with multiple party identification
In this paper, we develop a unified spatial model of turnout and voting behaviors in which citizens can identify with one or two parties. We show the existence of a conflicted voter's curse: If there is no position that reconciles the ideological views of both parties, it is always rational for citizens that identify with two parties to abstain even if they are a majority. In a two-candidate electoral competition, the conflicted voter's curse implies that candidates converge to the center of the political domain if and only if conflicted voters are pivotal and the parties have shared ideological views. Otherwise, we show that candidates may converge or diverge depending upon the degree of party polarization and whether candidates care about ideology or not. Our analysis suggests that the behavior of conflicted voters may be relevant for electoral outcomes and public choice.
0167-2681
Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha
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Ferreira, Joao V.
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Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha
ad0db321-0782-4601-939c-4df1ab47f527
Ferreira, Joao V.
0aad606a-eab0-473c-a230-9b3dfa2d7d93

Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha and Ferreira, Joao V. (2016) Conflicted voters: a spatial voting model with multiple party identification. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. (doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2016.12.003).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a unified spatial model of turnout and voting behaviors in which citizens can identify with one or two parties. We show the existence of a conflicted voter's curse: If there is no position that reconciles the ideological views of both parties, it is always rational for citizens that identify with two parties to abstain even if they are a majority. In a two-candidate electoral competition, the conflicted voter's curse implies that candidates converge to the center of the political domain if and only if conflicted voters are pivotal and the parties have shared ideological views. Otherwise, we show that candidates may converge or diverge depending upon the degree of party polarization and whether candidates care about ideology or not. Our analysis suggests that the behavior of conflicted voters may be relevant for electoral outcomes and public choice.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2 December 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 December 2016

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435942
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435942
ISSN: 0167-2681
PURE UUID: 3df7a615-b806-4289-b166-1072fb479b90

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Date deposited: 25 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 17:30

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Author: Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

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