Are we Better Off if our Politicians Have More Information?
AbstractThis Paper studies a model of public policy with heterogeneous citizens/voters and two public goods: one (roads) is chosen directly by an elected policy-maker, and the other (pollution) depends stochastically on the amount of roads. Both a one-country and a two-country version of the model are analysed, the latter displaying externalities across the countries, which creates incentives for free-riding and strategic delegation. The welfare effects of providing the policy-maker with information about the relationship between roads and pollution are investigated, and it is shown that more information hurts some – sometimes even all – citizens. In particular, the opportunity not to build an institution for information gathering can serve as a commitment device for a country, although with the unfortunate effect of making the overall outcome even worse. Implications for the welfare effects of ‘informational lobbying’ are discussed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3884.
Date of creation: May 2003
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Other versions of this item:
- Johan Lagerl–f, 2004. "Are We Better Off if Our Politicians Have More Information?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 123-142, 03.
- Johan Lagerlof, 2002. "Are We Better Off If Our Politicians Have More Information?," Public Economics 0209001, EconWPA.
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-POL-2003-07-13 (Positive Political Economics)
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