'Personal Influence': Social Context and Political Competition

47 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2007 Last revised: 9 Nov 2012

See all articles by Andrea Galeotti

Andrea Galeotti

University of Essex

Andrea Mattozzi

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO)

Date Written: June 2008

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of social learning on political outcomes in a model of informative campaign advertising. We find that communication networks among voters have important effects on parties' incentives to disclose political information, on voters' learning about candidates running for office, and on the polarization of the electoral outcome. In particular, in richer communication networks parties disclose less political information and voters are more likely to possess erroneous beliefs about the characteristics of the candidates running for office. In turn, a richer communication network among voters may lead to political polarization. These results are reinforced when interpersonal communication occurs more frequently among ideologically homogeneous individuals and parties can target political advertising.

Keywords: Social Learning, Homophily, Polarization, Campaign Advertising

JEL Classification: D72, D83, Z13

Suggested Citation

Galeotti, Andrea and Mattozzi, Andrea, 'Personal Influence': Social Context and Political Competition (June 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1057681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1057681

Andrea Galeotti

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Andrea Mattozzi (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

Villa San Paolo
Via della Piazzuola 43
50133 Florence
Italy

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