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Social Welfare Effects of Transparency and Misinformation in a Political Economy

  • David S. Bullock (a1), Klaus Mittenzwei (a2) and Timothy E. Josling (a3)

Abstract

We present a game-theoretical model arguing that greater public transparency does not necessarily lead to higher social welfare. Political agents can benefit from providing citizens with misleading information aimed at aligning citizens’ choices with the political agents’ preferences. Citizens can lose from being fooled by political agents, though they can mitigate their losses by conducting costly inspections to detect false information. Producing and detecting false information is costly and can reduce social welfare.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: klaus.mittenzwei@nibio.no

Footnotes

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Deceased.

Footnotes

References

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