Essays on the theory of conflict Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Petranka, Jeremy
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics
  • This dissertation consists of two papers in the field of conflict theory. In the first paper, I offer a model of American Presidential politics in which voters utilize an information heuristic. Specifically, voters vote for the candidate who espouses their ideal policy platform. If both candidates advocate this platform, voters probabilistically choose a candidate based on a contest success function incorporating policy ambiguity and candidate personality. Using this framework, I find that the optimal level of policy overlap in any given election is based only on voters' sensitivity towards policy ambiguity. As such, the recent changes in American presidential election trends are also expected to rely on this sensitivity. In the second paper, I propose a new microeconomic structure under which a ratio-form contest success function can be derived as a limit result using an underlying contest with multiple rounds and threshold success levels. This model generalizes the stochastic equivalence of ratio-form contest success functions and patent race games, allowing greater flexibility in the underlying structural interpretation. In addition, I formulate a spatial interpretation of the model in which the effectivity functions of a contest success function are related to a player's ability to increase his precision in hitting a target. Through the use of the threshold success level, I am able to relate a given effectivity function to a precision technology having desired productive characteristics.
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  • Biglaiser, Gary
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