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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the context of politics, the term valence refers to bonds between candidates and some desirable qualities in the public’s mind. This chapter provides a review of formal models of spatial political competition when candidates differ in their exogenous valence. Employing simple numerical examples, this chapter discusses the role of several assumptions (on voter preferences, candidate objectives, the timing of the game, etc.) employed in these models in restoring the existence of a divergent pure strategy Nash equilibrium and in determining the equilibrium policies and vote shares. The chapter mostly focuses on models of two-candidate competition, multicandidate competition is discussed only briefly.

Keywords: valence, spatial competition, exogenous candidate characteristics, divergent equilibrium, multicandidate competition

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