Essays on voting, cheap talk and information transmission

Ghosh, Saptarshi Prosonno (2013). Essays on voting, cheap talk and information transmission. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The first part of the thesis studies the voting behaviour of careerist experts in a secret committee where voting profiles get `leaked' to the public with a given probability. For informative voting (where every expert votes according to his posterior probability) in equilibrium, the committee must use the unanimity voting rule along with an intermediate probability of transparency. No committee that enforces informative voting can maximise social welfare, that is, informative voting and welfare-maximisation are mutually exclusive properties. Either full transparency or complete secrecy is required in a committee under the unanimity voting rule to maximise welfare. For low priors, a fully transparent majoritarian committee is better for the society than any unanimous committee.

In the second part of the thesis, the transmission of information is studied where an informed media, whose interests are partially in conflict with a finite group of rational voters, transmits news items in an attempt to manipulate democratic decisions. In a common-interest two-alternative voting model where due to reputation concerns the media can credibly commit to send any news reliably, we show that even if voters welcome the news when it arrives, media's presence can hurt their ex-ante welfare in both large and small constituencies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Economics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions


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