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Influential Opinion Leaders

Author

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  • Jakub Steiner
  • Colin Stewart

Abstract

We present a simple model of elections in which experts with special interests endorse candidates and endorsements are observed by the voters. We show that the equilibrium election outcome is biased towards the experts' interests even though voters know the distribution of expert interests and account for it when evaluating endorsements. Expert influence is fully decentralized in the sense that individual experts have no incentive to exert influence. The effect arises when some agents prefer, ceteris paribus, to support the winning candidate and when experts are much better informed about the state of the world than are voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakub Steiner & Colin Stewart, 2010. "Influential Opinion Leaders," Working Papers tecipa-403, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-403
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kohei Kawamura & Vasileios Vlaseros, 2015. "Expert Information and Majority Decisions," ESE Discussion Papers 261, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    2. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 77-88.
    3. Shadmehr, Mehdi, 2015. "Extremism in revolutionary movements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 97-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; coordination; experts;

    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
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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