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Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information

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  • Timothy Feddersen
  • Wolfgang Pesendorfer

Abstract

The authors analyze two-candidate elections in which voters are uncertain about the realization of a state variable that affects the utility of all voters. They assume each voter has noisy private information about the state variable. The authors show that, in equilibrium, almost all voters ignore their private signal when voting. Nevertheless, elections fully aggregate information in the sense that the chosen candidate would not change if all private information were common knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:65:y:1997:i:5:p:1029-1058
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alesina, Alberto & Londregan, John & Rosenthal, Howard, 1993. "A Model of the Political Economy of the United States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 12-33, March.
    2. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
    3. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Jeroen M. Swinkels, 1997. "The Loser's Curse and Information Aggregation in Common Value Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1247-1282, November.
    4. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    5. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1985. "Uncertainty Resolution, Private Information Aggregation and the Cournot Competitive Limit," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 69-83.
    6. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R, 1979. "A Convergence Theorem for Competitive Bidding with Differential Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 679-688, May.
    8. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
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