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Title:Knowledge is power: A theory of information, income, and welfare spending PDF Logo
Authors:Lind, Jo Thori
Rohner, Dominic
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper: Public Choice 3613
Abstract:No voters cast their votes based on perfect information, but better educated and richer voters are on average better informed than others. We develop a model where the voting mistakes resulting from low political knowledge reduce the weight of poor voters, and cause parties to choose political platforms that are better aligned with the preferences of rich voters. In US election survey data, we find that income is more important in affecting voting behavior for more informed voters than for less informed voters, as predicted by the model. Further, in a panel of US states we find that when there is a strong correlation between income and political information, Congress representatives vote more conservatively, which is also in line with our theory.
Subjects:redistribution
welfare spending
information
income
voting
political economics
JEL:D31
D72
D82
H53
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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