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Electoral Accountability and Selection with Personalized News Aggregation

Anqi Li, Lin Hu and Ilya Segal

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: We study a model of electoral accountability and selection (EAS) in which voters with heterogeneous horizontal preferences pay limited attention to the incumbent's performance using personalized news aggregators. Extreme voters' aggregators exhibit an own-party bias, which hampers their abilities to discern good and bad performances. While this effect alone could undermine EAS, there is a countervailing effect stemming from partisan disagreements, which make the centrist voter pivotal and could potentially enhance EAS. Overall, increasing mass polarization and shrinking attention spans have ambiguous effects on EAS, whereas correlating voters' news signals unambiguously improves EAS and voter welfare.

Date: 2020-09, Revised 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-mic
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