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Learning, public good provision, and the information trap

Listed author(s):
  • Aleksander Berentsen
  • Esther Bruegger
  • Simon Loertscher

We consider an economy where decision maker(s) do not know the true production function for a public good. By using Bayes rule they can learn from experience. We show that the economy may learn the truth, but that it may also converge to an inefficient policy where no further inference is possible so that the economy is stuck in an information trap. We also show that our results are robust with respect to experimentation.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 371.

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Date of creation: May 2008
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:371
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  12. Paul Heidhues & Johan Lagerlöf, 2000. "Hiding Information in Electoral Competition," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Feb 2002.
  13. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
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  17. Robert J. Blendon, 1997. "Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 105-118, Summer.
  18. Aleksander Berentsen & Esther Bruegger & Simon Loertscher, 2005. "Learning, voting and the information trap," Diskussionsschriften dp0516, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  19. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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