Political Information Acquisition for Social Exchange

CORE Discussion Paper No. 2006/20

46 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2006

See all articles by Gani Aldashev

Gani Aldashev

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); University of Namur

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

We model political information acquisition in large elections, where the probability of being pivotal is negligible. Our model builds on the assumption that informed citizens enjoy discussing politics with other informed citizens. The resulting information acquisition game exhibits strategic complementarities. We find that information acquisition depends negatively on the social distance between citizens. Next, we build an application of the model to the distributive politics game. Equilibrium policies are biased towards regions/groups with lower social distance between citizens. Finally, we present evidence for the basic model's main prediction based on the data from the 2000 U.S. National Elections Study. Citizens with a shorter residence span (thus having a less developed local social network, i.e. facing a larger social distance) acquire significantly less political information than the otherwise similar long-term residents.

Keywords: information acquisition, social interactions, global games

JEL Classification: D72, Z13

Suggested Citation

Aldashev, Gani, Political Information Acquisition for Social Exchange (March 2006). CORE Discussion Paper No. 2006/20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=892107 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.892107

Gani Aldashev (Contact Author)

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

University of Namur ( email )

8 rempart de la vierge
Namur, 5000
Belgium

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