Social Welfare Effects of Transparency and Misinformation in a Political Economy

David S. Bullock, Klaus Mittenzwei, Timothy E. Josling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a game-theoretical model arguing that greater public transparency does not necessarily lead to higher social welfare. Political agents can benefit from providing citizens with misleading information aimed at aligning citizens' choices with the political agents' preferences. Citizens can lose from being fooled by political agents, though they can mitigate their losses by conducting costly inspections to detect false information. Producing and detecting false information is costly and can reduce social welfare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-494
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Game theory
  • misinformation
  • political economy
  • social welfare
  • transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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