Benjamin Blumenthal

 

University / Organisation : Paris School of Economics

Paper or project ? paper

Title : Is More Information Good for Voters?

Paper not uploaded by the author

Abstract : I consider a series of models of political agency with moral hazard and adverse selection, in which resources are allocated to voters. With homogeneously informed electorates, I show how being collectively less informed can benefit voters. I discuss this result’s relationship with recent political agency models analysing a wide range of issues in policy-making – the effects of interest groups, biased media, fiscal restraints, non-binding laws, or ideology – and explain how they similarly rely on the possibility of either or both of partial control and partial screening when voters are less informed. Building on this mechanism, I subsequently ask: with heterogeneously informed voters, is it better to be among the more informed or the less informed? How is voters’ welfare affected by the informational advantage of the more informed? More informed voters’ ability to communicate with the less informed and the nature of their informational advantage can significantly matter.