Information and Extremism In Elections
We show that informative political campaigns can increase political extremism and decrease voter welfare. We present a model of elections in which candidate ideology is strategically selected prior to a campaign which reveals information about candidate quality. Documented means by which campaigns can harm voters are not present in our model; special interest groups, fundraising, and biased or private information are not part of the analysis. Even under these optimistic assumptions, we establish that informative campaigns have negative consequences. We discuss implications regarding media coverage, the number of debates, and campaign finance reform.
Raphael Boleslavsky and Christopher Cotton. 2012. "Information and Extremism In Elections" Revision requested AEJ: Microeconomics
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rboleslavsky/6