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Abstention, ideology and information acquisition

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  • Oliveros, Santiago

Abstract

We consider an election in which each voter can collect information of different precision. Voters have asymmetric information and preferences that vary both in terms of ideology and intensity. In contrast to all other models of voting with endogenous information, in equilibrium voters collect information of different qualities. We show that information and abstention are not necessarily negatively correlated: some voters are more likely to abstain the more informed they are. We also discuss the manner in which incentives to acquire information are non-monotonic in terms of both ideology and the level of intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliveros, Santiago, 2013. "Abstention, ideology and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 871-902.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:3:p:871-902 DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2012.10.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Piolatto, Amedeo & Schuett, Florian, 2015. "Media competition and electoral politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-93.
    2. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2018. "Signaling with costly acquisition of signals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 141-150.
    3. repec:pit:wpaper:517 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Emanuele Bracco & Federico Revelli, 2017. "Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections," Working papers 56, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    5. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, SunTak, 2017. "Voting with endogenous information acquisition: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 316-338.
    6. León, Gianmarco, 2017. "Turnout, political preferences and information: Experimental evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 56-71.
    7. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Leif Danziger, 2015. "When is voting optimal?," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(2), pages 341-356, October.
    8. Bruns, Christian & Himmler, Oliver, 2016. "Mass media, instrumental information, and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 75-84.
    9. repec:dgr:kubcen:2013072 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jens Großer & Michael Seebauer, 2013. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Working Paper Series in Economics 64, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    11. Bruns, Christian & Himmler, Oliver, 2014. "A Theory of Political Accountability and Journalism," MPRA Paper 59286, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Santiago Oliveros & Felix Várdy, 2015. "Demand for Slant: How Abstention Shapes Voters' Choice of News Media," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1327-1368, September.
    13. Bruns, Christian, 2013. "Elections and Market Provision of Information," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79857, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. repec:esx:essedp:734 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2014. "The Voters' Curses: The Upsides and Downsides of Political Engagement," MPRA Paper 53482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:190-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Sourav Bhattacharya & John Duffy & Sun-Tak Kim, 2015. "Voting with Endogenous Information Acquisition: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 151602, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    18. Joseph McMurray, 2015. "The paradox of information and voter turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 13-23, October.
    19. repec:tiu:tiucen:2013072 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Großer, Jens & Seebauer, Michael, 2016. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 205-226.
    21. Cesar Martinelli, 2011. "Ignorance and Naivete in Large Elections," Working Papers 1107, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    22. Boris Ginzburg & José-Alberto Guerra, 2017. "When Ignorance is Bliss: Theory and Experiment on Collective Learning," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015377, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    23. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2013. "Rational Ignorance, Elections, and Reform," MPRA Paper 68638, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Dec 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Abstention; Information acquisition; Heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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