This paper presents a theoretical model exploring the role of institutional distance between voters and politicians in the provision of public goods and citizens’ welfare. Proximity eases access to information about public policies, increasing political accountability. However, rent-seeking politicians can bias information reducing citizens’ welfare. We show that the optimal distance depends on the pool of politicians, voters’ political awareness and the cost of distorting information. As these elements differ across regions, a one-size-fits-all institutional reform may be beneficial for some jurisdictions and detrimental for others. A mechanism based on politicians’ remuneration can mitigate possible welfare-decreasing effects of voter-politician proximity.

Voters’ distance, information bias and politicians’ salary

Sacchi, Agnese
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical model exploring the role of institutional distance between voters and politicians in the provision of public goods and citizens’ welfare. Proximity eases access to information about public policies, increasing political accountability. However, rent-seeking politicians can bias information reducing citizens’ welfare. We show that the optimal distance depends on the pool of politicians, voters’ political awareness and the cost of distorting information. As these elements differ across regions, a one-size-fits-all institutional reform may be beneficial for some jurisdictions and detrimental for others. A mechanism based on politicians’ remuneration can mitigate possible welfare-decreasing effects of voter-politician proximity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2696310
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