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Asymmetric Information And Electoral Campaigns: The Monitoring Role Of Media

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  • Ascensión Andina

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ascensión Andina, 2004. "Asymmetric Information And Electoral Campaigns: The Monitoring Role Of Media," Working Papers. Serie AD 2004-32, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2004-32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. AlÌcia Adserý, 2003. "Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 445-490, October.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. AlÌcia Adserý, 2003. "Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 445-490, October.
    5. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2006. "Political competition when media create candidates’ charisma," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 345-366, June.
    6. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    7. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
    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. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    10. Alexander Dyck & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media," NBER Working Papers 9309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2006. "Political competition when media create candidates’ charisma," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 345-366, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty; electoral campaigns; media.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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