‘A Theory of Public Opinion Management’

The CCP seminar series continues on Friday 15th November with Andrea Patacconi (CCP and NBS), who has recently joined the Centre as a Faculty member and as a Lecturer in Business and Management at the Norwich Business School. He will be presenting his research on A theory of public opinion management‘ which is based on a paper that Andrea has co-authored with Nick Vikander. An abstract for his paper can be found below.


Policymakers often motivate their decisions by disclosing information. While this can help hold the government to account, it may also give policymakers an incentive to “fix the evidence” around their preferred policy. This paper considers a model of biased information gathering where the government can influence the workings of an agency in charge of collecting information. We examine how different disclosure rules and the degree of independence of the government agency affect citizen welfare. Our main result is that insulating the agency from political pressure, so that its information is always unbiased, may not be socially optimal. A biased information gathering process can curb the government’s tendency to implement its ex ante favored policy, thus mitigating the agency conflict between policymakers and the public.

As usual, the seminar will take place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.4.

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