Information and Voting: the Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses
In a common-values election with continuously distributed information quality, the incentive to pool private information conflicts with the swing voters curse. In equilibrium, therefore, some citizens abstain despite clear private opinions, and others vote despite having arbitrarily many peers with superior information. The dichotomy between one's own and others' information quality can explain the otherwise puzzling empirical relationship between education and turnout, and suggests the importance of relative information variables in explaining turnout, which I verify for U.S. primary elections. Though voluntary elections fail to utilize nonvoters' information, mandatory elections actually do worse; e¤orts to motivate turnout may actually reduce welfare.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: University of Rochester, Wallis Institute, Harkness 109B Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.|
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.:
- Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2007.
"Do Voters Vote Sincerely?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," NBER Working Papers 12922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antonio Merlo & Arianna Degan, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," 2007 Meeting Papers 307, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2004.
"A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections,"
PIER Working Paper Archive
06-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2006.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, 04.
- Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2007.
- John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 1999.
"A Bayesian Model of Voting in Juries,"
9904, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
- Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
- Valentino Larcinese, 2006.
"Information Acquisition, Ideology and Turnout:Theory and Evidence from Britain,"
STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series
18, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Valentino Larcinese, 2009. "Information Acquisition, Ideology and Turnout: Theory and Evidence From Britain," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 21(2), pages 237-276, April.
- Valentino Larcinese, 2006. "Information acquisition, ideology and turnout: theory and evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3606, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Tilman Borgers, 2004.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
- Matsusaka, John G, 1993.
"Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions,"
Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
- Matsusaka, J.C., 1991. "Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Papers 91-29, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
- Benny Geys, 2006. "'Rational' Theories of Voter Turnout: A Review," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 4(1), pages 16-35.
- Aaron Edlin & Andrew Gelman & Noah Kaplan, 2007. "Voting as a Rational Choice: Why and How People Vote to Improve the Well-Being of Others," NBER Working Papers 13562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
- Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2008. "On the Benefits of Costly Voting," Economics Working Papers 0083, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Dee, Thomas S., 2004.
"Are there civic returns to education?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
- Peyton Young, 1995. "Optimal Voting Rules," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 51-64, Winter.
- David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp59. 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: (Richard DiSalvo)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.