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Party CompetitionAn Agent-Based Model$
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Michael Laver and Ernest Sergenti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139036

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139036.001.0001

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Benchmarking the Baseline Model

Benchmarking the Baseline Model

(p.85) Chapter Five Benchmarking the Baseline Model
Party Competition

Michael Laver

Ernest Sergenti

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins the investigation of multiparty competition using the baseline model specified in Chapter 3 and methods and procedures specified in Chapter 4. The most significant results concern the representativeness of evolved configurations of party policy positions. In symmetric populations, the ideal points of voters are not best represented by a set of (Hunter) parties who compete for their support by trying to find popular policy positions. Instead, voter preferences are better represented by a set of (Aggregator) parties that do not compete with each other on policy at all but instead seek to represent the policy preferences only of their current supporters. This happens because the dynamics of vote-seeking competition in this setting cause parties to set policy positions closer to the center of the policy space than would be needed for optimal representation—while at the same time avoiding the dead center of the space.

Keywords:   multiparty competition, political parties, party competition, agent-based modeling, party policy, voter preferences

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