Hiding information in electoral competition
AbstractWe model a two-candidate electoral competition in which there is uncertainty about a policy-relevant state of the world. The candidates receive private signals about the true state, which are imperfectly correlated. We study whether the candidates are able to credibly communicate their information to voters through their choice of policy platforms. Our results show that the fact that private information is dispersed between the candidates creates a strong incentive for them to bias their messages toward the electorate's prior. Information transmission becomes more difficult, the more the information is dispersed between the candidates and the stronger is the electorate's prior. Indeed, as more prior information becomes available, welfare can decrease. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Verheimlichen von Informationen im Wahlkampf) In diesem Beitrag wird ein Wahlkampf zwischen zwei Politikern modelliert, in welchem Unsicherheit Ã¼ber die bessere von zwei Politikalternativen herrscht. Die Kandidaten erhalten private und unvollstÃ¤ndig korrelierte Signale darÃ¼ber, welche Politik fÃ¼r die WÃ¤hler besser ist. Der Beitrag untersucht, ob die Kandidaten diese Informationen durch die Auswahl ihrer Wahlkampfplattform glaubwÃ¼rdig an die WÃ¤hler weitergeben kÃ¶nnen. Die Tatsache, dass die Kandidaten nicht genau dieselben Information haben, fÃ¼hrt dazu, dass sie ihre Informationen teilweise oder vÃ¶llig ignorieren und ihre Wahlkampfplattform in Richtung der a priori Informationen der WÃ¤hler ausrichten. Die Weitergabe der Informationen der Politiker wird umso schwieriger desto mehr die Informationen zwischen den Kandidaten verteilt sind und desto besser die WÃ¤hler informiert sind. Im Gleichgewicht kann dies sogar dazu fÃ¼hren, dass bessere a priori Informationen der WÃ¤hler die Wohlfahrt senken.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.
Volume (Year): 42 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
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