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The Swing Voter's Curse in Social Networks

Author

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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," 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

    as
    1. Morton, Rebecca B. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Let the experts decide? Asymmetric information, abstention, and coordination in standing committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 485-509, June.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:02:p:209-217_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:375-393_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:34-45_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:02:p:413-418_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jacob K. Goeree & Leeat Yariv, 2011. "An Experimental Study of Collective Deliberation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 893-921, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Brandts & Leonie Gerhards & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2018. "Deliberative Structures and their Impact on Voting Behavior under Social Conflict," Working Papers 1022, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. 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.

    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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