Would Rational Voters Acquire Costly Information?
AbstractWe analyze an election in which voters are uncertain about which of two alternatives is better for them. Voters can, however, acquire some costly information about the alternatives. As the number of voters increases, individual investment in political information declines to zero. However, the election outcome is likely to correspond to the interest of the majority if the marginal cost of information acquisition approaches zero as the information acquired becomes nearly irrelevant. Under certain conditions, the election outcome corresponds to the interests of the majority with probability approaching one. Thus, "rationally ignorant" voters are consistent with a well-informed electorate. JEL D72, D82. Keywords: voting, information acquisition, information aggregation.
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Date of creation: 12 Oct 2004
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Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-10-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2004-10-21 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2004-10-21 (Positive Political Economics)
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