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Abstention, ideology and information acquisition

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  • Oliveros, Santiago

Abstract

We consider an election in which each voter can collect information of different precision. Voters have asymmetric information and preferences that vary both in terms of ideology and intensity. In contrast to all other models of voting with endogenous information, in equilibrium voters collect information of different qualities. We show that information and abstention are not necessarily negatively correlated: some voters are more likely to abstain the more informed they are. We also discuss the manner in which incentives to acquire information are non-monotonic in terms of both ideology and the level of intensity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 148 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 871-902

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:3:p:871-902

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

Related research

Keywords: Abstention; Information acquisition; Heterogeneity;

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References

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  1. Coupe, Tom & Noury, Abdul G., 2004. "Choosing not to choose: on the link between information and abstention," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 261-265, August.
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  8. César Martinelli, 2005. "Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000461, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
  10. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  11. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
  12. Kenneth Shotts, 2006. "A Signaling Model of Repeated Elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 251-261, October.
  13. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  14. Valentino Larcinese, 2005. "Does political knowledge increase turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British general election," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3614, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
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  17. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gianmarco León, 2013. "Turnout, Political Preferences and Information: Experimental Evidence from Peru," Working Papers 691, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2014. "The Voters' Curses: The Upsides and Downsides of Political Engagement," MPRA Paper 53482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Amedeo Piolatto & Florian Schuett, 2014. "Media competition and electoral politics," Working Papers 2014/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  4. Sourav Bhattacharya, 2013. "Condorcet Jury Theorem in a Spatial Model of Elections," Working Papers 517, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  5. Jens Großer & Michael Seebauer, 2013. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Working Paper Series in Economics 64, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  6. Santiago Oliveros & Felix Vardy, 2013. "Demand for Slant: How Abstention Shapes Voters’ Choice of News Media," Economics Discussion Papers 734, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Cesar Martinelli, 2011. "Ignorance and Naivete in Large Elections," Working Papers 1107, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  8. Christian Bruns, 2013. "Elections and Market Provision of Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 4091, CESifo Group Munich.

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