Would rational voters acquire costly information?
We analyze an election in which voters are uncertain about which of two alternatives is better for them. Voters can, however, acquire some costly information about the alternatives. As the number of voters increases, individual investment in political information declines to zero. However, the election outcome is likely to correspond to the interest of the majority if the marginal cost of information acquisition approaches zero as the information acquired becomes nearly irrelevant. Under certain conditions, the election outcome corresponds to the interests of the majority with probability approaching one. Thus, "rationally ignorant" voters are consistent with a well-informed electorate. JEL D72, D82. Keywords: voting, information acquisition, information aggregation.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995.
"The Swing Voter's Curse,"
1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 1999.
"A Bayesian Model of Voting in Juries,"
9904, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
- Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
- Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
- Gary S. Becker, 1984.
"Public Policies, Pressure Groups, and Dead Weight Costs,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
35, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
- Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2003. "Putting Your Ballot Where you Mouth Is: An Analysis of Collective Choice," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000280, David K. Levine.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997.
"Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections With Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1560, David K. Levine.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ronny Razin, 2003. "Signaling and Election Motivations in a Voting Model with Common Values and Responsive Candidates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1083-1119, 07.
- Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
- Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
- Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
- George A. Akerlof, 1989. "The Economics Of Illusion," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, 03.
- David Austen-Smith & Tim Feddersen, 2002. "Deliberation and Voting Rules," Discussion Papers 1359, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2003. "Putting Your Ballot Where Your Mouth Is: An Analysis of Collective Choice with Communication," UCLA Economics Working Papers 827, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
- Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:129:y:2006:i:1:p:225-251. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.