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On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections

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  • Jon X. Eguia
  • Antonio Nicolò

Abstract

We study the relation between the electorate's information about candidates' policy platforms during an election, and the subsequent provision of inefficient local public goods (pork) by the winning candidate. More information does not lead to better outcomes. We show that the efficient outcome in which no candidate proposes to provide any inefficient good is sustained in equilibrium only if voters are not well informed. If the electorate is well informed, electoral competition leads candidates to provide inefficient pork in all equilibria. We show that this result is robust even if candidates care about efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 234.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:234

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Keywords: Elections; information; inefficiency; pork; campaigns;

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References

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  11. Brian Roberson, 2008. "Pork-Barrel Politics, Targetable Policies, and Fiscal Federalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 819-844, 06.
  12. Toke Aidt & Julia Shvets, 2011. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," CESifo Working Paper Series 3405, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. A. Lizzeri & Persico N., 1999. "Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electral Incentives," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f4, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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Cited by:
  1. Jon X. Eguia & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Rebecca Morton & Antonio Nicolò, 2014. "Equilibrium Selection in Sequential Games with Imperfect Information," Working Papers 717, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.

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