Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/85825
Authors: 
Ossokina, Ioulia V.
Swank, Otto
Year of Publication: 
2001
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 01-063/1
Abstract: 
In the literature on electoral politics full convergence of policy platforms is usually regarded as socially optimal. Thereason is that risk-averse voters prefer a sure middle-of-the-road policy to a lottery of two extremes with the sameexpectation. In this paper we study the normative implications of convergence in a simple model of electoralcompetition, in which parties are uncertain about voters' preferences. We show that if political parties haveincomplete information about voters' preferences, the voters may prefer some degree of policy divergence. Theintuition is that policy divergence enables voters to correct policies that are based on a wrong perception of theirdesires.
Subjects: 
Elections
Policy divergence
Probabilistic voting
Voters' preferences
JEL: 
D72
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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