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Elections and Market Provision of Information

  • Christian Bruns

Economists usually think that rational voters have little incentives to acquire costly information. We present a theoretical model to show that, in contrast to this widely held belief, rational voters acquire considerable amounts of information if media technology is available because then they do not condition their informational decisions on being pivotal. The model also shows that the quality of media coverage is inefficiently low because voters have incentives to free-ride. Further, we show how the quality of information depends on the size of the electorate, the prior knowledge of voters and on the technology to produce information.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-01/cesifo1_wp4091.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4091.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4091
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  1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca Morton & Thomas Palfrey, 2007. "The Swing Voter’s Curse in the Laboratory," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000760, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Pecorino, Paul, 1999. "The effect of group size on public good provision in a repeated game setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 121-134, April.
  3. Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
  4. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
  5. Feddersen, Timothy & Sandroni, Alvaro, 2006. "Ethical Voters and Costly Information Acquisition," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 287-311, July.
  6. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  7. Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "Aggregation of endogenous information in large elections," Economics Discussion Papers 733, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
  9. Cesar Martinelli, 2005. "Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior," Working Papers 0505, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  10. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2008. "Information acquisition in committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 436-459, March.
  11. Cesar Martinelli, 2002. "Would Rational Voters Acquire Costly Information?," Working Papers 0210, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  12. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  13. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2007. "Retailing public goods: The economics of corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1645-1663, September.
  14. David Str�mberg, 2004. "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 265-284.
  15. Cesar Martinelli, 2011. "Ignorance and Naivete in Large Elections," Working Papers 1107, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  16. ALDASHEV, Gani, 2006. "Political information acquisition for social exchange," CORE Discussion Papers 2006020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  18. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
  19. Oliveros, Santiago, 2013. "Abstention, ideology and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 871-902.
  20. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  21. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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