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Wisdom of the crowd? Information aggregation in representative democracy

Prato, Carlo and Wolton, Stephane ORCID: 0000-0003-1405-650X (2022) Wisdom of the crowd? Information aggregation in representative democracy. Games and Economic Behavior, 135. 86 - 95. ISSN 0899-8256

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.geb.2022.05.010


The Condorcet Jury Theorem and subsequent literature establish the feasibility of information aggregation in a common-value environment with exogenous policy options: a large electorate of imperfectly informed voters almost always selects the correct policy option. Rather than directly voting for policies, citizens in modern representative democracies elect candidates who make strategic policy commitments. We show that intermediation by candidates sometimes improves policy choices and sometimes impedes information aggregation. Somewhat paradoxically, the possibility of information aggregation by voters encourages strategic conformism by candidates. Correlated information or partisan biases among voters can mitigate the political failure we un- cover. We also discuss possible institutional solutions.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2022 Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Date Deposited: 23 May 2022 14:15
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 20:03

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