Speaker: Konstantin Sorokin
Affiliation: Higher School of Economics (Moscow)
Title: Candidate utility invariance under stochastic voting
Date: Friday, 16 Jan 2015
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Room 412, Science Centre (303)
Previous work by the authors (Zakharov, 2012, Sorokin and Zakharov, 2014) demonstrated
that the shape of the functions that translate vote shares into payoffs does have an effect on
the equilibrium actions of candidates in two-candidate voting games with a finite number of
stochastic voters. In particular, we have shown that the „mean voter theorem‰ that predicts
candidates choosing identical policy positions in fact holds only for a small set of candidate
utility functions (a set that includes both winner-take-all and proportional utility).
In this work, we take our research one step further. First, we show that, as the number of
voters becomes large, the outcome of an electoral competition game is invariant with respect
to the candidate utility functions. Second, we show that this invariance holds only if the votes
are cast independently. If there is, say, a common shock to the utilities that all voters receive, then candidate payoffs will affect the equilibrium even in the limiting games when the number of voters is infinite.