Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior
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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- 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.
- 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.
- Helios Herrera & César Martinelli, 2006.
"Group Formation and Voter Participation,"
666156000000000463, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Helios Herrera & Cesar Martinelli, 2005. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," Working Papers 0502, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
- Cesar Martinelli & Helios Herrera, 2005. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," 2005 Meeting Papers 687, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Helios Herrera & Cesar Martinelli, 2006. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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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