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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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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. David Str–mberg, 2004. "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 265-284, 01.
  2. César Martinelli, 2007. "Rational ignorance and voting behavior," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 315-335, February.
  3. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
  4. Aldashev, Gani, 2010. "Political Information Acquisition for Social Exchange," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, April.
  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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  7. 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.
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  9. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca Morton & Thomas Palfrey, 2005. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000914, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2007. "Information Acquisition in Committees," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1411R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
  12. Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "Aggregation of endogenous information in large elections," Economics Discussion Papers 733, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  13. Alex Gershkov & Balazs Szentes, 2004. "Optimal Voting Schemes with Costly Information Acquisition," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000311,
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  18. 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.
  19. Oliveros, Santiago, 2013. "Abstention, ideology and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 871-902.
  20. 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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