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Influential Opinion Leaders

  • Jakub Steiner
  • Colin Stewart

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.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-403.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 16 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-403
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Jakub Steiner, 2006. "Coordination in a Mobile World," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp295, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Guimaraes, Bernardo & Morris, Stephen, 2007. "Risk and wealth in a model of self-fulfilling currency attacks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2205-2230, November.
  3. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
  4. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
  5. Callander, Steven, 2008. "Majority rule when voters like to win," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 393-420, November.
  6. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity, and the Timing of Attacks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 711-756, 05.
  7. David P. Myatt, 2004. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 186, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Giancarlo Corsetti & Amil Dasgupta & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2001. "Does one Soros make a difference?: a theory of currency crises with large and small traders," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25045, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity and Timing of Attacks," Discussion Papers 1497, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert Forsythe, 1991. "An Experiment on Coordination in Multi-Candidate Elections: The Importance of Polls and Election Histories," Discussion Papers 962, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Steiner, Jakub, 2008. "Coordination of mobile labor," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 25-46, March.
  13. David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
  14. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  15. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 435-439, May.
  16. Duncan J. Watts & Peter Sheridan Dodds, 2007. "Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 441-458, 05.
  17. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Special Interest Politics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262571676, June.
  18. Chris Edmond, 2013. "Information Manipulation, Coordination, and Regime Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1422-1458.
  19. Ekmekci, Mehmet, 2009. "Manipulation through political endorsements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1227-1248, May.
  20. Nicholas Economides, 2007. "Patents and Antitrust: Application to Adjacent Markets," Working Papers 07-24, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  21. Giancarlo Corsetti & Amil Dasgupta & Stephen Morris & Shin, Hyun, 2000. "Does One Soros Make a Difference? A Theory of Currency Crises with Large and Small Traders," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1273, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  22. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  23. Dasgupta, Amil, 2007. "Coordination and delay in global games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 195-225, May.
  24. Steven Callander, 2007. "Bandwagons and Momentum in Sequential Voting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 653-684.
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