The Dark Side of the Vote - Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting
AbstractWe experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when some voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a "?dark side"?, i.e. result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. We develop a model to predict how two types of social information shape efficiency in the presence of biased voters and we test these predictions using a novel experimental design. In line with predictions, we find that information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. In the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective. While voters with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to be de-biased by such information, most voters do not seem to interpret such information rationally.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-08.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 08 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Morton, Rebecca B. & Piovesan, Marco & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2013. "The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-209, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Rebecca B. Morton & Marco Piovesan & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2012. "The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-017, Harvard Business School.
- Morton, Rebecca & Piovesan, Marco & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 9098, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-09-09 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-FOR-2012-09-09 (Forecasting)
- NEP-POL-2012-09-09 (Positive Political Economics)
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