The Wisdom of the Crowd: Uninformed Voting and the Efficiency of Democracy

Speaker:  Marco Faravelli - University of Queensland
  Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 12:00 PM

We investigate the impact of uninformed voting on the efficiency of elections. In theory, the wisdom of the crowd suggests that larger electorates yield more accurate outcomes. We conducted a large-scale online experiment during the 2020 US presidential election to explore this in practice. Surprisingly, we find that, in spite of widespread uninformed voting, increasing the electorate sizes still increases efficiency. Even adding a motivation for expressive voting or inducing overconfidence does not necessarily undermine the wisdom of the crowd, as long as it does not bias the uninformed vote towards one alternative.

Programme Director
Martina Menon

External reference
Publication date
June 6, 2024