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Common value elections with private information and informative priors: Theory and experiments

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  • Mengel, Friederike
  • Rivas, Javier

Abstract

We study efficiency and information aggregation in common value elections with contin-uous private signals and informative priors. We show that small elections are not generally efficient and that there are equilibria where some voters vote against their private signal even if it provides useful information and abstention is allowed. This is not the case in large elections, where the fraction of voters who vote against their private signal tends to zero. In an experiment, we then study how informativeness of priors and private signals impact efficiency and information aggregation in small elections. We find that there is a substantial amount of voting against the private signal. Moreover, while most experimental elections are efficient, we find that it is not generally the case that better private information leads to better decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mengel, Friederike & Rivas, Javier, 2017. "Common value elections with private information and informative priors: Theory and experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 190-221.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:190-221
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2017.03.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2019. "Information aggregation and turnout in proportional representation: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
    2. Darius Schlangenotto & Wendelin Schnedler & Radovan Vadovič, 2020. "Against All Odds: Tentative Steps toward Efficient Information Sharing in Groups," Games, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-24, August.
    3. Tsakas, Nikolas & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2021. "Stress-testing the runoff rule in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 18-38.
    4. Pogorelskiy. Kirill & Shum, Matthew, 2019. "News We Like to Share : How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1199, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    5. Pogorelskiy, Kirill & Shum, Matthew, 2019. "News We Like to Share: How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 427, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voter turnout; Common value elections; Private information; Swing voter's curse; Condorcet Jury theorem;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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