Political Correctness and Elite Prestige


Consider a society where the prestige of orthodox views is linked to the prestige of the elite. Heterodox individuals are less likely to express their views if other peers refrain from doing so and if the elite is prestigious. In turn, corruption by the elite is less easily detected if orthodox views dominate. We characterize equilibrium self-denial and corruption and show that an exogenous increase in the range of orthodox views may result in a decrease in the total number of individuals truthfully expressing their views. Some features of the model are shown to be compatible with U.S. data.