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Does Polarisation of Opinions Lead to Polarisation of Platforms? The Case of Correlation Neglect

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  • Levy, Gilat
  • Razin, Ronny

Abstract

In this paper, we question the common wisdom that more polarised voters' opinions imply larger policy polarisation. We analyse a voting model in which the source of the polarisation in voters' opinions is correlation neglect , that is, voters neglect the correlation in their information sources. Our main result shows that such polarisation in opinions does not necessarily translate to policy polarisation; when the electoral system is not too competitive (that is, when there is some aggregate noise in the election's outcome), then voters with correlation neglect may induce lower levels of policy polarisation compared with rational electorates.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2015. "Does Polarisation of Opinions Lead to Polarisation of Platforms? The Case of Correlation Neglect," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 10(3), pages 321-355, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00015010
    DOI: 10.1561/100.00015010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Cass R. Sunstein, 2007. "Extremism and Social Learning," NBER Working Papers 13687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jimmy Chan & Wing Suen, 2008. "A Spatial Theory of News Consumption and Electoral Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 699-728.
    3. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
    4. Bernhardt, Dan & Duggan, John & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "The Case for Responsible Parties," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 570-587, November.
    5. Arianna Degan, 2006. "Policy Positions, Information Acquisition and Turnout," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 669-682, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2018. "Information diffusion in networks with the Bayesian Peer Influence heuristic," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86554, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Anirban Mitra, 2018. "Mandated Political Representation and Redistribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(338), pages 266-280, April.
    3. Inés Moreno de Barreda & Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2017. "Persuasion with Correlation Neglect: Media Power via Correlation of News Content," Economics Series Working Papers 836, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Laohakunakorn, Krittanai & Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2019. "Private and common value auctions with ambiguity over correlation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    5. Youzong Xu, 2019. "Collective decision-making of voters with heterogeneous levels of rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 178(1), pages 267-287, January.
    6. Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C McMurray, 2019. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3137-3153.
    7. Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2018. "Information diffusion in networks with the Bayesian Peer Influence heuristic," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 262-270.
    8. Ignacio Esponda & Demian Pouzo, 2017. "Conditional Retrospective Voting in Large Elections," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 54-75, May.
    9. Laohakunakorn, Krittanai & Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2019. "Private and common value auctions with ambiguity over correlation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101410, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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