Are Voters Better Informed When They Have a Larger Say in Politics? Evidence for the European Union and Switzerland
AbstractPublic choice theory takes citizens as rationally ignorant about political issues, because the costs of being informed greatly exceed the utility individuals derive from it. The costs of information (supply side) as well as the utility of information (demand side), however, can vary substantially depending on the political system under which citizens live. Using a large survey from Switzerland, we present empirical evidence that citizens are politically better informed when they have more extended participation rights in the political process. The results corroborate theoretical arguments and circumstantial evidence that voter information should be treated as endogenously determined by political institutions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 119.
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voter competence; direct democracy; information costs; rational ignorance;
Other versions of this item:
- Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Are Voters Better Informed When They Have a Larger Say in Politics? -- Evidence for the European Union and Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 31-59, 04.
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-06-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2002-06-24 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-PBE-2002-06-24 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2002-06-24 (Public Finance)
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