Costly information acquisition. Better to toss a coin?
Citizens have little and uneven levels of political knowledge, consistently with the rational ignorance hypothesis. The paper presents a strategic model of common value elections with endogenous information acquisition accounting for these facts. It proves, that contrary to the most optimistic positions about direct democracy, majoritarian elections can fail to aggregate information, when voters have heterogeneous skills. Informational inefficiencies can be partially corrected by improving the skills of the electorate as the population increase or by limiting participation to most competent citizens. The first interpretation is consistent with Rousseau view that an educated citizenry is necessary for a well functioning democracy. The second interpretation provides rational foundations for an epistocratic form of government. JEL Classification Numbers: C72, D72, D82. Keywords: Costly Information Acquisition, Condorcet Jury Theorem.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- César Martinelli, 2005.
"Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior,"
784828000000000461, UCLA Department of Economics.
- repec:esx:essedp:733 is not listed on IDEAS
- Mandler, Michael, 2012. "The fragility of information aggregation in large elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 257-268.
- Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994.
"Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information,"
1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections With Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1560, David K. Levine.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1994.
"Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem,"
1103, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
- Martinelli, Cesar, 2006.
"Would rational voters acquire costly information?,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
- 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.
- Daniel Berend & Jacob Paroush, 1998. "When is Condorcet's Jury Theorem valid?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(4), pages 481-488.
- Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
- Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:267. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.