Electoral Competition with Fake News

30 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2020

See all articles by Gene M. Grossman

Gene M. Grossman

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

Misinformation pervades political competition. We introduce opportunities for political candidates and their media supporters to spread fake news about the policy environment and perhaps about parties' positions into a familiar model of electoral competition. In the baseline model with full information, the parties' positions converge to those that maximize aggregate welfare. When parties can broadcast fake news to audiences that disproportionately include their partisans, policy divergence and suboptimal outcomes can result. We study a sequence of models that impose progressively tighter constraints on false reporting and characterize situations that lead to divergence and a polarized electorate.

Keywords: Electoral Competition, fake news, policy positions

JEL Classification: D78

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Gene M. and Helpman, Elhanan, Electoral Competition with Fake News (December 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14210, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518548

Gene M. Grossman (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

300 Fisher Hall
Prospect Avenue
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
609-258-4823 (Phone)
609-258-1374 (Fax)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
273
PlumX Metrics