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Negative Voters? Electoral Competition with Loss-Aversion

journal contribution
posted on 31.03.2020, 11:03 by Ben Lockwood, James Rockey

This paper studies the effect of voter loss-aversion in preferences over both candidate policy platforms and candidate valence on electoral competition. Loss-aversion over platforms leads to both platform rigidity and reduced platform polarisation, whereas loss-aversion over valence results in increased polarization and also the possibility of asymmetric equilibria with a self-fulfilling (dis)-advantage for the incumbent. The results are robust to a stochastic link between platforms and outcomes; they hold approximately for a small amount of noise. A testable implication of loss-aversion over platforms is that incumbents adjust less than challengers to shifts in voter preferences. We find some empirical support for this using data for elections to the US House of Representatives

History

Citation

The Economic Journal (2020) in Press

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

The Economic Journal

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0013-0133

Acceptance date

25/03/2020

Copyright date

2020

Publisher version

TBA

Language

en