This article studies the effects of bandwagon and underdog on the political equilibrium of two-party competition models. We adapt for voter conformism the generalized Wittman-Roemer model of political competition, which views political competition as the one between parties with factions of the opportunists and the militants that Nash-bargain one another, and consider three special cases of the general model: the Hotelling-Downs model, the classical Wittman-Roemer model, and what we call the ideological-party model. We find that the presence of voter conformism significantly affects the nature of political competition, and its effect on political equilibrium is quite different depending on the model one uses. In the Hotelling-Downs model, political parties put forth an identical policy at the equilibrium, regardless of the type of voter conformism, and this is the only equilibrium. In both the ideological-party and classical Wittman-Roemer models, parties propose differentiated policies at the equilibrium, and the extent of policy differentiation depends on the degree of voter conformism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)