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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 3 No. 1 (February 2011)

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"Personal Influence": Social Context and Political Competition

Article Citation

Galeotti, Andrea, and Andrea Mattozzi. 2011. ""Personal Influence": Social Context and Political Competition." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 3(1): 307-27.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.1.307

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of social learning on political outcomes in a model of informative campaign advertising. Voters' communication network affects parties' incentives to disclose political information, voters' learning about candidates running for office, and polarization of the electoral outcome. In richer communication networks, parties disclose less political information and voters are more likely to possess erroneous beliefs about the characteristics of the candidates. In turn, a richer communication network among voters may lead to political polarization. These results are reinforced when interpersonal communication occurs more frequently among ideologically homogeneous individuals and parties can target political advertising.(JEL D72, D85, M37, Z13)

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Authors

Galeotti, Andrea (U Essex)
Mattozzi, Andrea (MOVE, U Autonoma de Barcelona and CA Institute of Technology)

JEL Classifications

D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
D85: Network Formation and Analysis: Theory
M37: Advertising
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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