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The Swing Voter's Curse in Social Networks

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  • Mechtenberg, Lydia
  • Büchel, Berno

Abstract

We study private communication in social networks prior to a majority vote on two alternative policies. Some (or all) agents receive a private imperfect signal about which policy is correct. They can, but need not, recommend a policy to their neighbors in the social network prior to the vote. We show that communication can undermine effciency of the vote and hence reduce welfare in a common interest setting. We test the model in a lab experiment and find strong support for the predicted effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Mechtenberg, Lydia & Büchel, Berno, 2017. "The Swing Voter's Curse in Social Networks," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168094, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc17:168094
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Eleonora Patacchini, 2020. "Social Groups and the Effectiveness of Protests," NBER Working Papers 26757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Guha, Brishti, 2017. "Should Jurors Deliberate?," MPRA Paper 79876, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kerman, Toygar & Tenev, Anastas P., 2021. "Persuading communicating voters," Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    4. Jordi Brandts & Leonie Gerhards & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2018. "Deliberative Structures and their Impact on Voting under Economic Conflict," Working Papers 1022, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Kerman, Toygar & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Karos, Dominik, 2020. "Persuading Strategic Voters," Research Memorandum 004, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    6. Pogorelskiy. Kirill & Shum, Matthew, 2019. "News We Like to Share : How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1199, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    7. Guha Brishti, 2020. "Should Jurors Deliberate?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1-27, July.
    8. Liu, Shuo, 2019. "Voting with public information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 694-719.
    9. Eckhoff Andresen, Martin & Huber, Martin, 2018. "Instrument-based estimation with binarized treatments: Issues and tests for the exclusion restriction," FSES Working Papers 492, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    10. Pogorelskiy, Kirill & Shum, Matthew, 2019. "News We Like to Share: How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 427, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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