Asymmetric Information And Electoral Campaigns: The Monitoring Role Of Media
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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