Robert Schmidt, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Full vs. limited commitment in electoral competition

ESOP seminar. Robert Schmidt is a Post-doctoral fellow at Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin. He will present a paper entitled "Full vs. limited commitment in electoral competition"

Picture: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


We investigate the merits of limited commitment to previously announced policy platforms in a game of electoral competition. While commitment is a device to ''discipline'' candidates with biased preferences, a finite(rather than infinite) punishment for deviations after the election can sometimes improve the outcome of electoral competition. In  addition to giving the winner flexibility to respond to shocks after the election, limited commitment can also allow candidates to reveal valuable information about their types (e.g.,  policy- vs. office-motivated) before the election. In our model, office-motivated candidates signal their type by announcing extreme policies before the election, and deviate to less extreme policies after the election. Hence, limited commitment gives rise to a new way of revealing candidates' types, in situations where types either cannot be revealed under full commitment, or revealed at the cost of more distorted equilibrium policies.


Host: Bård Harstad.

Published May 25, 2016 12:27 PM - Last modified June 6, 2016 10:19 AM