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Are the polls rigged?

Grant number: 17/12285-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): September 04, 2017
Effective date (End): December 11, 2017
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics - Economic Theory
Principal researcher:David Daniel Turchick Rubin
Grantee:Felipe Ricardo Durazzo
Supervisor abroad: Filipe Robin Campante
Home Institution: Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade (FEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, Cambridge, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/18987-4 - To manipulate or not manipulate, that is the question, BP.MS

Abstract

The effects of electoral polls in election outcomes is a studied topic in economics. However, to the best of our knowledge, the behaviour of pollsters have not yet been studied from an economic standpoint. This research project will study the incentives that pollsters have regarding the release of polls results. Using a two-candidate costly voting model, we assume that the pollster has a private information about which state has nature played, but it may report a false information to the public: if this happens, we say that the pollster manipulated the poll. An often heard criticism of pollsters is that they may manipulate a poll in order to benefit some candidate. This project may show that they have incentives to manipulate a poll even in the absence of ideological motives. Not necessarily a manipulated poll is bad: preliminary results show there are situations in which some degree of manipulation improves expected social welfare. (AU)

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