Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 5 > Issue 1

Political Information Acquisition for Social Exchange

Gani Aldashev, Department of Economics and CRED, University of Namur (FUNDP), Belgium, gani.aldashev@fundp.ac.be
Suggested Citation
Gani Aldashev (2010), "Political Information Acquisition for Social Exchange", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 5: No. 1, pp 1-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00009009

Publication Date: 22 Apr 2010
© 2010 G. Aldashev
Political networks,  Political participation,  Comparative politics


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In this article:
Empirical Strategy 
Data and Variables 
Anes 2000 
Ess 2002–2006 


Why do citizens get politically informed in a democracy? On one hand, being informed allows a citizen to participate in political discussions within her social network. On the other hand, having an informed opinion can help her to extend her social network. This paper builds a simple model on these insights and finds that effort in political information acquisition has inverted-U shape in the size of social network. The data from the 2000 American National Election Study and the 2002–2006 European Social Surveys confirm this theory: political information acquisition, political knowledge, and interest in politics increase with the size of social network, at a decreasing rate. The effect of social network is much weaker for the political efficacy measures for the United States, but not for Europe.