Costly information acquisition. Better to toss a coin?
AbstractCitizens have little and uneven levels of political knowledge, consistently with the rational ignorance hypothesis. The paper presents a strategic model of common value elections with endogenous information acquisition accounting for these facts. It proves, that contrary to the most optimistic positions about direct democracy, majoritarian elections can fail to aggregate information, when voters have heterogeneous skills. Informational inefficiencies can be partially corrected by improving the skills of the electorate as the population increase or by limiting participation to most competent citizens. The first interpretation is consistent with Rousseau view that an educated citizenry is necessary for a well functioning democracy. The second interpretation provides rational foundations for an epistocratic form of government. JEL Classification Numbers: C72, D72, D82. Keywords: Costly Information Acquisition, Condorcet Jury Theorem.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 267.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- 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-2010-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2010-03-28 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2010-03-28 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mandler, Michael, 2012. "The fragility of information aggregation in large elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 257-268.
- Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997.
"Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections With Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1560, David K. Levine.
- Daniel Berend & Jacob Paroush, 1998. "When is Condorcet's Jury Theorem valid?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 481-488.
- Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
- Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
- Martinelli, Cesar, 2006.
"Would rational voters acquire costly information?,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
- Myerson, Roger B., 1998.
"Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Discussion Papers 1103, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
- Cesar Martinelli, 2005.
"Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior,"
0505, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
- Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
- Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "Aggregation of endogenous information in large elections," Economics Discussion Papers 733, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.