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Elections and Market Provision of Information

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  • Christian Bruns

Abstract

Economists usually think that rational voters have little incentives to acquire costly information. We present a theoretical model to show that, in contrast to this widely held belief, rational voters acquire considerable amounts of information if media technology is available because then they do not condition their informational decisions on being pivotal. The model also shows that the quality of media coverage is inefficiently low because voters have incentives to free-ride. Further, we show how the quality of information depends on the size of the electorate, the prior knowledge of voters and on the technology to produce information.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4091.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4091

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Keywords: elections; information; media;

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References

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  1. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2007. "Retailing public goods: The economics of corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1645-1663, September.
  2. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2008. "Information acquisition in committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 436-459, March.
  3. Aldashev, Gani, 2010. "Political Information Acquisition for Social Exchange," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, April.
  4. Marci Battaglini & Rebecca Morton & Thomas Palfrey, 2007. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Working Papers 0019, New York University, Center for Experimental Social Science.
  5. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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  8. Oliveros, Santiago, 2013. "Abstention, ideology and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 871-902.
  9. César Martinelli, 2007. "Rational ignorance and voting behavior," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 315-335, February.
  10. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
  11. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
  12. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  13. David Str–mberg, 2004. "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 265-284, 01.
  14. Feddersen, Timothy & Sandroni, Alvaro, 2006. "Ethical Voters and Costly Information Acquisition," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 287-311, July.
  15. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
  16. Cesar Martinelli, 2011. "Ignorance and Naivete in Large Elections," Working Papers, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM 1107, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  17. Alex Gershkov & Balazs Szentes, 2004. "Optimal Voting Schemes with Costly Information Acquisition," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000311, www.najecon.org.
  18. ALDASHEV, Gani, 2006. "Political information acquisition for social exchange," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 2006020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "Aggregation of endogenous information in large elections," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 733, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  21. Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
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