Public Protests, Social Media and Policy Making
43 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 15, 2015
We explore the limits of petitions and public protests as mechanisms to aggregate dispersed information. We show that if citizens’ signals are not sufficiently precise, information aggregation is impossible, even if the conflict with the policy-maker is small, no matter how large is the population of informed citizens. We characterize the conditions on conflict and the signal structure that guarantee information aggregation. When these conditions are satisfied, we show that full information aggregation is possible as population grows to infinity. When they are not satisfied, we show that information aggregation may still be possible if social media are available.
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