We study a one-dimensional Hotelling-Downs model of electoral competition with
the following innovation: a fraction of candidates have "character" and are
exogenously committed to a campaign platform; this is unobservable to voters.
Character is desirable, and a voter's utility is a convex combination of standard
policy preferences and her assessment of a candidate's character. This structure
induces a signaling game between strategic candidates and voters, since a policy
platform affects voters' utilities not only directly, but also indirectly through
inferences about a candidate's character. The model generates a number of predictions,
starting with a failure of the median voter theorem. (JEL D72, D82)
Kartik, Navin and R. Preston McAfee.
2007."Signaling Character in Electoral Competition."American Economic Review,
97(3): 852-870.DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.3.852