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Obfuscation, Inequality and Votes: A Model of Policy Choice under Rent Seeking


  • David Hojman

    () (University of Liverpool)


This paper applies the concept of optimal obfuscation to fast-growth, high-inequality emergent economies. The obfuscation level depends on the nature of policy, government propaganda or 'spin', and GDP growth. The conditions are identified for a negative impact of economic growth on electoral support for the government, as well as for the relative size of the impacts on the vote of a marginal decline in growth, as opposed to a marginal increase in the exogenous component of obfuscation. The model suggests reasons behind different responses in government policy, and policy labelling, to falling electoral support in Chile and Malaysia.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hojman, 2002. "Obfuscation, Inequality and Votes: A Model of Policy Choice under Rent Seeking," Research Papers 2002_04, University of Liverpool Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:liv:livedp:2002_04

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    More about this item


    Rent seeking; Optimal obfuscation; Inequality; Chile; Malaysia;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems


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