The binary policy model

Stefan Krasa, Mattias Polborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a model of electoral competition with office-motivated candidates who are exogenously committed to particular positions on some issues, while they choose positions for the remaining issues. A position is majority-efficient if a candidate cannot make a majority of the electorate better off, given his fixed positions. We characterize existence conditions for majority-efficient positions. The candidates' fixed positions in our framework imply that only some voters are "swing voters," and we analyze how the distribution of swing voters determines whether candidates choose majority-efficient positions. We also analyze plurality and runoff elections with multiple candidates in our framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-688
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Citizen-candidate
  • Multidimensional policy
  • Normative analysis of political competition
  • Plurality rule
  • Runoff rule
  • Voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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