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Political rents and voter information in search equilibrium

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  • Andersen, Jørgen Juel
  • Heggedal, Tom-Reiel

Abstract

Political parties committed to grab rents may run for election, and even win, if citizens are uninformed. But, how is the political equilibrium affected if citizens can mitigate this information problem through costly information search? We propose a political equilibrium theory with endogenous information search and turnout. We show that: (i) the political equilibrium generates political uncertainty characterized by a distribution of rent policies; (ii) the expectation of this rent distribution is inversely U-shaped in the information search cost; (iii) turnout is lower and rents are higher the more proportional is the electoral system.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Heggedal, Tom-Reiel, 2019. "Political rents and voter information in search equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 146-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:114:y:2019:i:c:p:146-168
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2019.01.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information search; Political equilibrium; Political rents; Voter turnout;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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