Information and Voting: the Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses
AbstractIn a common-values election with continuously distributed information quality, the incentive to pool private information conflicts with the swing voters curse. In equilibrium, therefore, some citizens abstain despite clear private opinions, and others vote despite having arbitrarily many peers with superior information. The dichotomy between one's own and others' information quality can explain the otherwise puzzling empirical relationship between education and turnout, and suggests the importance of relative information variables in explaining turnout, which I verify for U.S. primary elections. Though voluntary elections fail to utilize nonvoters' information, mandatory elections actually do worse; e¤orts to motivate turnout may actually reduce welfare.
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 University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy in its series Wallis Working Papers with number WP59.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Rochester, Wallis Institute, Harkness 109B Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-01-24 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CTA-2009-01-24 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-POL-2009-01-24 (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.:
- Dee, Thomas S., 2004.
"Are there civic returns to education?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006.
"A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections,"
PIER Working Paper Archive
07-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2007.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, 04.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2006.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007.
"Do Voters Vote Sincerely?,"
NBER Working Papers
12922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antonio Merlo & Arianna Degan, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," 2007 Meeting Papers 307, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 1998.
"A Bayesian Model of Voting in Juries,"
Wallis Working Papers
WP14, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
- David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Matsusaka, John G, 1993.
" Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions,"
Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
- Matsusaka, J.C., 1991. "Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Papers 91-29, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
- Aaron Edlin & Andrew Gelman & Noah Kaplan, 2007. "Voting as a Rational Choice: Why and How People Vote to Improve the Well-Being of Others," NBER Working Papers 13562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tilman Borgers, 2004.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
- Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
- Peyton Young, 1995. "Optimal Voting Rules," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 51-64, Winter.
- Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
- Benny Geys, 2006. "'Rational' Theories of Voter Turnout: A Review," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 4(1), pages 16-35.
- Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2008. "On the Benefits of Costly Voting," Economics Working Papers 0083, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Valentino Larcinese, 2006. "Information Acquisition, Ideology and Turnout:Theory and Evidence from Britain," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 18, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gabriel Mihalache).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.