DP10405 | Does polarization of opinions lead to polarization of platforms? the case of correlation neglect

Publication Date

08/02/2015

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Abstract

In this paper we question the common wisdom that more polarized voters? opinions imply larger policy polarization. We analyze a voting model in which the source of the polarization in voters? opinions is ?correlation neglect?, that is, voters neglect the correlation in their information sources. Our main result shows that such polarization in opinions does not necessarily translate to policy polarization; when the electoral system is not too competitive (that is, when there is some aggregate noise in the election?s outcome), then voters with correlation neglect may induce lower levels of policy polarization compared with rational electorates.