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Extremists into Truth-tellers: Information Aggregation under Asymmetric Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Bonardi, Jean-Philippe
  • Cadot, Olivier
  • Cottier, Lionel

Abstract

We set up a model of costly information production between two lobbies, a firm and a consumer group, competing for influence over an imperfectly informed but benevolent government. The government is endowed with a parametric amount of information and chooses the best policy from a finite, countable feasible set given the information available (its own and that forwarded by lobbies). Lobbies have asymmetric preferences, the firm being a high-stakes player with relatively extreme preferences and the consumer group a low-stakes player with preferences more aligned with the government's. We show that lobbies spend too much on information production in any Nash equilibrium despite a timing-game structure in which the lobbies are free to choose the order of play. We also show that in some parameter configurations, the firm insures against a consumer win by forwarding unbiased information to the government, in spite of its own extreme preferences and high stakes. The resulting informational rent enables the government to adopt moderate policies aligned with its own (i.e. societal) preferences, suggesting a new way in which lobby competition can produce good policies even when the government is imperfectly informed.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonardi, Jean-Philippe & Cadot, Olivier & Cottier, Lionel, 2016. "Extremists into Truth-tellers: Information Aggregation under Asymmetric Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 11118, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kempf, Hubert & Rota-Graziosi, Grégoire, 2010. "Endogenizing leadership in tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 768-776, October.
    2. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-294, March.
    3. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
    4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00523585 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2004. "Astroturf: Interest Group Lobbying and Corporate Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 561-597, December.
    6. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Strategic Disclosure of Research Results: The Cost of Proving Your Honesty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1036-1064, July.
    7. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "A Simple Model of Voice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 189-227.
    8. Michael J. Lenox & Charles E. Eesley, 2009. "Private Environmental Activism and the Selection and Response of Firm Targets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 45-73, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Game theory; imperfect information; lobbying model; timing game;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems

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