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Overcoming Ideological Bias in Elections

Vijay Krishna

Penn State University

John Morgan

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group

July 8, 2010

We study a model in which voters choose between two candidates on the basis of both ideology and competence. While the ideology of the candidates is commonly known, voters are imperfectly informed about competence. Voter preferences, however, are such that it is a dominant strategy to vote according to ideology alone. When voting is compulsory, the candidate of the majority ideology prevails and this may be inefficient from a social perspective. However, when voting is voluntary and costly, we show that turnout adjusts endogenously so that the outcome of a large election is always first-best.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

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Date posted: July 9, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Krishna, Vijay and Morgan, John, Overcoming Ideological Bias in Elections (July 8, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1636405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1636405

Contact Information

Vijay Krishna (Contact Author)
Penn State University ( email )
Kern 516
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States
814-863-8543 (Phone)
814-863-4775 (Fax)
John Morgan
University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group ( email )
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-2669 (Phone)
810-885-5959 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/rjmorgan/
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References:  23
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