Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior
AbstractWe model a two-alternative election in which voters may acquire information about which is the best alternative for all voters. Voters differ in their cost of acquiring information. We show that as the number of voters increases, the fraction of voters who acquire information declines to zero. However, if the support of the cost distribution is not bounded away from zero, there is an equilibrium with some information acquisition for arbitrarily large electorates. This equilibrium dominates in terms of welfare any equilibrium without information acquisition--even though generally there is too little information acquisition with respect to an optimal strategy profile.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM in its series Working Papers with number 0505.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2006-09-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-ICT-2006-09-16 (Information & Communication Technologies)
- NEP-KNM-2006-09-16 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-POL-2006-09-16 (Positive Political Economics)
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