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Asymmetric Information And Electoral Campaigns: The Monitoring Role Of Media

  • Ascensión Andina

    ()

    (Universidad de Alicante)

This paper analyzes an electoral game where candidates have private information on their own types. Candidates propose non-binding platforms and run for office. Voters make inferences on the politicians' types and cast their votes. We show that in this set-up, the existence of a media industry is desirable, as it improves the quality of the political game by increasing the accuracy of the candidates' signals. In particular, it induces politicians to discard the use of pooling strategies. We show that this monitoring role of the media is more likely to appear in societies with large numbers of swing voters, or with great competition among the media. We do this analysis in a context of a neutral media. We also analyze the case of an ideological media and show that ideology is not harmful per se, but the possibility of asymmetries in the support of different candidates may well be.

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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2004-32.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2004-32
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  1. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements: The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behavior," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, February.
  2. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
  3. J. Mark Payne & Carles Boix & Alícia Adserà, 2000. "Are You Being Served?: Political Accountability and Quality of Government," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6478, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Joseph E. Harrington, 1992. "The Revelation Of Information Through The Electoral Process: An Exploratory Analysis," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 255-276, November.
  6. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  7. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  8. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1990. "A model of electoral competition with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 309-325, April.
  9. Ascensión Andina Díaz, 2004. "Political Competition when Media Create Candidates’ Charisma," Working Papers 2004.134, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van, 1997. "Campaign Expenditures, Contributions and Direct Endorsements: The Strategic Use of Information and Money to Influence Voter Behavior," Discussion Paper 1997-27, .
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