Electoral Competition when Candidates are Better Informed than Voters
In this paper we study the functioning of representative democracy when politicians are better informed than the electorate about conditions relevant for policy choice. We consider a model with two states of the world. The distribution of voters' preferred policies shifts with the state. The two candidates are both completely office-motivated but differ in state-dependent quality. Voters have some information about the state but candidates are better informed. If voters' information is unknown to the candidates when they take positions and sufficiently accurate then candidates will, in refined equilibrium, reveal their information by converging to the most likely median. If voters' information is not sufficiently accurate then there is polarization and the candidates'information is not revealed to the voters. We also show that if voters'information is known to the candidates then they will never reveal their information to the voters. The candidates will either pander by converging on the median that is most likely given only the voters'information or be polarized. With respect to welfare, if voters are well informed then they all prefer that their information is unknown to the candidates. However, if voters are not well informed then it is the other way around, all voters prefer that their information is known by the candidates.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Øster Farimagsgade 5, Building 26, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., Denmark|
Phone: (+45) 3532 4411
Fax: +45 35 32 30 00
Web page: http://www.econ.ku.dk/epru/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1989.
"Oligopoly Limit Pricing,"
829, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
- Cukierman, A. & Tommasi, M., 1997.
"When does it take a Nixon to go to China?,"
1997-91, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. "Elections with Privately Informed Parties and Voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 147-167, July.
- Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002.
"Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
- Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Christian Schultz, 1996. "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 331-344.
- Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
- Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:09-06. 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: (Thomas Hoffmann)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.