Didier Laussel, Michel Le Breton, and Dimitrios Xefteris, “Simple Centrifugal Incentives in Downsian Dynamics.”, TSE Working Paper, n. 13-405, May 2013.
The main purpose of this short paper is to examine how traditional Downsian dynamics (convergence of the parties to the median of the distribution) are altered by the introduction of centrifugal incentives arising from the fact that any motion towards the center induces a lost of votes at the extremes of the electorate. Our analysis provides a new rationale for platform differentiation. It also yields new insights in the case when centripetal incentives are dominant on one side of the political spectrum while centrifugal incentives take over on the other side. This may apply for instance to the 2012 French elections.