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Rational ignorance and voting behavior

  • César Martinelli

    ()

We model a two-alternative election in which voters may acquire information about which is the best alternative for all voters. Voters differ in their cost of acquiring information. We show that as the number of voters increases, the fraction of voters who acquire information declines to zero. However, if the support of the cost distribution is not bounded away from zero, there is an equilibrium with some information acquisition for arbitrarily large electorates. This equilibrium dominates in terms of welfare any equilibrium without information acquisition--even though generally there is too little information acquisition with respect to an optimal strategy profile.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00182-006-0051-4
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Journal of Game Theory.

Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
Pages: 315-335

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:35:y:2007:i:3:p:315-335
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  1. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
  2. Helios Herrera & César Martinelli, 2006. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000463, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
  4. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  5. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
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