The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting
Rebecca Morton (),
Marco Piovesan () and
Jean-Robert Tyran ()
No 9098, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when some voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a “dark side”, i.e. result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. We develop a model to predict how two types of social information shape efficiency in the presence of biased voters and we test these predictions using a novel experimental design. In line with predictions, we find that information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. In the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective. While voters with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to be de-biased by such information, most voters do not seem to interpret such information rationally.
Keywords: biased voters; information aggregation; majority voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D02 D03 D7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cta, nep-exp, nep-for and nep-pol
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Journal Article: The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting (2019)
Working Paper: The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting (2013)
Working Paper: The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting (2012)
Working Paper: The Dark Side of the Vote - Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting (2012)
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