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On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections

Author

Listed:
  • Jon X. Eguia
  • Antonio Nicolò

Abstract

We study the relation between the electorate's information about candidates' policy platforms during an election, and the subsequent provision of inefficient local public goods (pork) by the winning candidate. More information does not lead to better outcomes. We show that the efficient outcome in which no candidate proposes to provide any inefficient good is sustained in equilibrium only if voters are not well informed. If the electorate is well informed, electoral competition leads candidates to provide inefficient pork in all equilibria. We show that this result is robust even if candidates care about efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon X. Eguia & Antonio Nicolò, 2011. "On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 234, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:234
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    File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.234.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Toke S. Aidt & Julia Shvets, 2012. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 1-29, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eguia, Jon X. & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Morton, Rebecca & Nicolò, Antonio, 2018. "Equilibrium selection in sequential games with imperfect information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 465-483.
    2. Câmara, Odilon & Bernhardt, Dan, 2015. "Learning about challengers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 181-206.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elections; information; inefficiency; pork; campaigns;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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