Fake News, Voter Overconfidence, and the Quality of Democratic Choice

Jean-Robert Tyran, Melis Kartal

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

This paper studies, theoretically and experimentally, the effects of overconfidence and fake news on information aggregation and the quality of democratic choice in a common-interest setting. We theoretically show that overconfidence exacerbates the adverse effects of widespread misinformation (i.e., fake news). We then analyze richer models that allow for partisanship, targeted misinformation intended to sway public opinion, and news signals correlated across voters (due to media ownership concentration or censorship). In our experiment, overconfidence severely undermines information aggregation, suggesting that the effect of overconfidence can be much more pronounced at the collective than at the individual level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3367-3397
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume112
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 502045 Behavioural economics
  • 502057 Experimental economics

Keywords

  • HBE
  • Cat 1

Cite this