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Biased contests

Author

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  • Matthias Dahm

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  • Nicolás Porteiro

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Abstract

We examine the effects of providing more accurate information to a political decision-maker who is lobbied by competing interests. Conventional wisdom holds that such a bias in the direction of the correct decision improves the efficiency of government. We provide a formal definition of bias which is derived from the same fundamentals that give rise to a contest model of lobbying. Efficiency of government is measured by both the probability of taking the correct decision and the amount of social waste associated to lobbying activities. We present a benchmark model in which increasing the bias always improves the efficiency of government under both criteria. However, this result is fragile in the sense that reasonable alternative assumptions in the micro-foundations lead to slightly different models in which -due to different strategic effects of bias- under either criterion there is no guarantee that more accurate information improves government.
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Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Dahm & Nicolás Porteiro, 2008. "Biased contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 55-67, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:136:y:2008:i:1:p:55-67
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-008-9278-x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-008-9278-x
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Dahm & Nicolas Porteiro, 2005. "A Micro- Foundation for Non-Deterministic Contests of the Logit Form," Discussion Papers 1410, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Esteve-González, Patricia, 2016. "Moral hazard in repeated procurement of services," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 244-269.
    3. Luis Corchón & Matthias Dahm, 2010. "Foundations for contest success functions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 43(1), pages 81-98, April.
    4. Dahm, Matthias & Esteve, Patrícia,, 2013. "Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes," Working Papers 2072/222197, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous contests; Contest success function; Information provision; C72; D72; D74;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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