Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Slacktivism

Ginzburg, Boris (2019): Slacktivism.

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Abstract

Many countries have introduced e-government petitioning systems, in which a petition that gathers enough signatures triggers some political outcome. This paper models citizens who choose whether to sign a petition. Citizens are imperfectly informed about the petition's chance of bringing change. The number of citizens approaches infinity, while the cost of signing is positive but low, falling within certain bounds. In the limit, participation is increasing in the required quota of signatures. Social welfare is decreasing in the quota. Information aggregation may fail if individual signals are sufficiently uninformative.

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