Social Connectivity, Media Bias, and Correlation Neglect Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2020

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 50

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-0133

abstract

  • A biased newspaper aims to persuade voters to vote for the government. Voters are uncertain about the government's competence. Each voter receives the newspaper's report as well as independent private signals about the competence. Voters then exchange messages containing this information on social media and form posterior beliefs, neglecting correlation among messages. We show that greater social connectivity increases the probability of an efficient voting outcome if the prior favours the government; otherwise, efficiency decreases. The probability of an efficient outcome remains strictly below one even when connectivity becomes large, implying a failure of the Condorcet jury theorem.

keywords

  • correlation neglect; social media; voting; information aggregation; media; bias; bayesian persuasion; deliberation