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Expert advice to a voting body

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  • Schnakenberg, Keith E.

Abstract

I provide a theory of information transmission in collective choice settings. In the model, an expert has private information on the effect of a policy proposal and communicates to a set of voters prior to a vote over whether or not to implement the proposal. In contrast to previous game-theoretic models of political communication, the results apply to situations involving multiple voters, multidimensional policy spaces and a broad class of voting rules. The results highlight how experts can use information to manipulate collective choices in a way that reduces the ex ante expected utilities of all voters. Opportunities for expert manipulation are the result of collective choice instability: all voting rules that allow collective preference cycles also allow welfare-reducing manipulative persuasion by an expert. The results challenge prevailing theories of institutions in which procedures are designed to maximize information transmission.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnakenberg, Keith E., 2015. "Expert advice to a voting body," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 102-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:160:y:2015:i:c:p:102-113
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2015.08.005
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daeyoung Jeong, 2017. "Using Cheap Talk to Polarize or Unify a Group of Decision Makers," Working Papers 2017-19, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    2. Arieli, Itai & Babichenko, Yakov, 2019. "Private Bayesian persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 185-217.
    3. Ricardo Alonso & Odilon Câmara, 2016. "Persuading Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3590-3605, November.
    4. Elliot Lipnowski & Doron Ravid, 2020. "Cheap Talk With Transparent Motives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(4), pages 1631-1660, July.
    5. Bruno Salcedo, 2019. "Persuading part of an audience," Papers 1903.00129, arXiv.org.
    6. Kerman, Toygar & Tenev, Anastas P., 2021. "Persuading communicating voters," Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    7. Emiel Awad, 2020. "Persuasive Lobbying with Allied Legislators," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 64(4), pages 938-951, October.
    8. Jeong, Daeyoung, 2019. "Using cheap talk to polarize or unify a group of decision makers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 50-80.
    9. Ding, Huihui & Pivato, Marcus, 2021. "Deliberation and epistemic democracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 138-167.
    10. Chan, Jimmy & Gupta, Seher & Li, Fei & Wang, Yun, 2019. "Pivotal persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 178-202.
      • Jimmy Chan & Seher Gupta & Fei Li & Yun Wang, 2018. "Pivotal Persuasion," Working Papers 2018-11-03, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    11. Roy, Jaideep & Silvers, Randy & Sun, Ching-Jen, 2019. "Majoritarian preference, utilitarian welfare and public information in Cournot oligopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 269-288.
    12. Keith E. Schnakenberg, 2017. "The downsides of information transmission and voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 173(1), pages 43-59, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Signaling; Cheap talk; Social choice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • 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
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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