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Revealing information in electoral competition

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  • Mike Felgenhauer

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Abstract

Electoral competition between two expert candidates may lead to inefficient platform choices. The present paper studies electoral competition between two experts and a third uninformed candidate. The latter behaves populistically. This seemingly useless candidate restores efficiency. The paper then endogenizes information acquisition. If the information acquisition costs are low, then equilibria with (i) three expert candidates or (ii) two experts and one uninformed candidate may arise. There are costs such that the latter equilibrium is the only pure strategy equilibrium in which information is transmitted. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Felgenhauer, 2012. "Revealing information in electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 55-68, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:153:y:2012:i:1:p:55-68
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9773-3
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-011-9773-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Schultz, 1996. "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 331-344.
    2. Schultz, Christian, 1995. " The Politics of Persuasion When Voters Are Rational," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(3), pages 357-368, September.
    3. Warneryd, Karl, 1994. "Partisanship as Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(3-4), pages 371-380, September.
    4. Frisell, Lars, 2009. "A theory of self-fulfilling political expectations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 715-720, June.
    5. Mike Felgenhauer & Hans Peter Grüner, 2008. "Committees and Special Interests," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 219-243, April.
    6. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
    7. Heidhues, Paul & Lagerlof, Johan, 2003. "Hiding information in electoral competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 48-74, January.
    8. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
    9. Jason G. Cummins & Ingmar Nyman, 2005. "The Dark Side of Competitive Pressure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 361-397, Summer.
    10. Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-197, March.
    11. Jean-François Laslier & Karine Straeten, 2004. "Electoral competition under imperfect information," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(2), pages 419-446, August.
    12. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
    13. Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. "Elections with Privately Informed Parties and Voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 147-167, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert C. Schmidt, 2015. "The political economy of climate policy," Working Papers 2015015, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    2. Tilman Klumpp, 2011. "Populism, Partisanship, and the Funding of Political Campaigns," Emory Economics 1107, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    3. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2016. "Information in elections: Do third inflexible candidates always promote truthful behavior?," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 307-339, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elections; Information transmission; Information acquisition; D72; D78; D82;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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