Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar
Abstract: This paper studies how voters' selective ignorance interacts with policy design by political candidates. It shows that the selectivity empowers voters with extreme preferences and small groups, divisive issues attract most attention and public goods are underfunded. Finer granularity of information increases these inefficiencies. Rational inattention can also explain why competing candidates do not always converge on the same policy issues, and how the poor are politically empowered by welfare programs.