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Extremists into Truth-tellers: Information Aggregation under Asymmetric Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-Philippe BONARDI

    (FERDI)

  • Olivier CADOT

    (Faculté des hautes études commerciales - Université de Lausanne)

  • Lionel COTTIER

    (FERDI)

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

  • Jean-Philippe BONARDI & Olivier CADOT & Lionel COTTIER, 2016. "Extremists into Truth-tellers: Information Aggregation under Asymmetric Preferences," Working Papers P149, FERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:fdi:wpaper:2807
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. 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.
    5. 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.
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    7. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00523585 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "A Simple Model of Voice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 189-227.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • 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

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