Ethical Voters and Costly Information Acquisition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Game-theoretic and statistical models have emphasized the desirable information aggregation properties of large elections. However, such models do not explain why voters choose to acquire costly information. In this paper we use an ethical voter model to endogenize the decision to acquire information. We show that a significant fraction of the electorate will acquire costly information. However, even with negligible costs of acquiring information a fraction of the electorate will remain uninformed. Moreover, we show that as the quality of information increases information aggregation properties of election improve, but the fraction of informed voters may decrease. This result stands in contrast to previous models where the information aggregation properties of elections are insensitive to changes in the fraction informed. In addition, changes in the quality or cost of information affect the relative likelihood that each candidate wins the election.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-311
JournalQuarterly Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethical Voters and Costly Information Acquisition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this