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Costly information acquisition. Is it better to toss a coin?

  • Triossi, Matteo

This paper presents a strategic model of common value elections with endogenous information acquisition. It proves that majoritarian elections can fail to aggregate information when voters have heterogeneous skills and provides necessary and sufficient conditions for information aggregation. Inefficiencies can be partially corrected by limiting participation to the most competent citizens, a result which provides a rational foundation for epistocratic government.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 82 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 169-191

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:82:y:2013:i:c:p:169-191
DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2013.07.008
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  1. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2010. "Overcoming Ideological Bias in Elections," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000498,
  2. César Martinelli, 2004. "Would Rational Voters Acquire Costly Information?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000593, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Nordin, Mattias, 2009. "The effect of information on voting behavior," Working Paper Series 2009:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Joseph C. McMurray, 2013. "Aggregating Information by Voting: The Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 277-312.
  7. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
  8. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Wit, Jorgen, 1998. "Rational Choice and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 364-376, February.
  10. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  11. Szentes, Balazs & Koriyama, Yukio, 2009. "A resurrection of the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), June.
  12. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  13. César Martinelli, 2005. "Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000461, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Robert J. Blendon, 1997. "Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 105-118, Summer.
  15. Daniel Berend & Jacob Paroush, 1998. "When is Condorcet's Jury Theorem valid?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(4), pages 481-488.
  16. repec:esx:essedp:733 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2012. "Voluntary voting: Costs and benefits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2083-2123.
  18. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the "Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 395-426, October.
  19. Li Hao & Wing Suen, 2009. "Viewpoint: Decision-making in committees," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 359-392, May.
  20. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
  21. Feddersen, Timothy & Sandroni, Alvaro, 2006. "Ethical Voters and Costly Information Acquisition," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 287-311, July.
  22. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
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