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Knowledge is power - A theory of information, income, and welfare spending

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  • Jo Thori Lind
  • Dominic Rohner

Abstract

No voters cast their votes based on perfect information, but richer voters are on average best informed. We develop a model where the voting mistakes resulting from low political knowledge reduce the weight of poor voters, and cause parties to choose political platforms that are better aligned with the preferences of rich voters. In US election survey data, income is more important in affecting voting behavior for more informed voters than for less informed voters. Further, when there is a strong correlation between income and political information, Congress representatives vote more conservatively, which is also in line with our theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 13.07.

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Length: 25 pp. + appendix and tables (total 35 pp.)
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:13.07

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Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
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Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Keywords: Redistribution; Welfare Spending; Information; Income; Voting; Political Economics;

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Cited by:
  1. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2012. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," Working papers 2012/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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