Benjamin Blumenthal

interaction seminar

Benjamin Blumenthal

PSE, EHESS
Is more information good for voters?
Venue

IBD Salle 17

Îlot Bernard du Bois - Salle 17

AMU - AMSE
5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
13001 Marseille

Date(s)
Thursday, October 7 2021| 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Contact(s)

Gaëtan Fournier: gaetan.fournier[at]univ-amu.fr
Evgeny Tsodikovich: evgeny.tsodikovich[at]univ-amu.fr

Abstract

Recent work in the political agency literature shows how being less informed about policy-making can improve a representative voter's welfare. Using a model of targeted spending with homogeneously informed voters, I show how diverse papers analysing a large range of issues in policy-making — the role of interest groups, the influence of media, fiscal restraints, the effect of non-binding law, the impact of ideology — rely on the possibility of partial control, partial screening, or both, when a representative voter benefits from less information. Building on this mechanism, I subsequently ask: if voters are heterogeneously informed, is it better to be part of a more informed elite or of the less informed masses? How is the masses' welfare affected by the existence of a more informed elite? I show that the answers depend on the elite's ability to transmit verifiable information and the nature of its additional information.