Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 83–104

Aggregate uncertainty in the citizen candidate model yields extremist parties


  • Sandro Brusco
    • Department of EconomicsStony Brook University
    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Birmingham
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00355-010-0467-4

Cite this article as:
Brusco, S. & Roy, J. Soc Choice Welf (2011) 36: 83. doi:10.1007/s00355-010-0467-4


We extend the citizen candidate model of electoral competition with sincere voting to allow for k ≥ 2 states of aggregate uncertainty. We discuss and characterize the equilibrium set in this framework. We provide conditions for the existence of two-party equilibria when k = 2 and show that the policies of the two parties in any such equilibrium are not only divergent but that the parties are extremist: when the political mood is left-wing, the left-wing party wins decisively with a platform that is to the left of the left-wing median voter, while when the political mood is right-wing, the right-wing party wins decisively with a platform that is to the right of the right-wing median voter. We then provide conditions under which such equilibria remain robust for an arbitrary value of k.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010