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A note on the direct democracy deficit in two-tier voting

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  • Maaser, Nicola
  • Napel, Stefan

Abstract

A large population of voters with single-peaked preferences are partitioned into disjoint constituencies. Collective decisions are taken by their representatives, one from each constituency, according to a weighted voting rule. It is assumed that each representative’s ideal point perfectly matches that of the respective constituency median and that top-tier decisions are in the voting game’s core. The resulting representative-democratic voting outcomes generally differ from those of a direct-democratic, single-tier system. The expected discrepancy varies with the voting weight allocation. It is minimized by weights proportional to constituency population sizes only if citizens differ sufficiently more between than within constituencies. Weights proportional to the square root of population sizes perform better if all citizens have independent and identically distributed ideal points.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 63 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 174-180

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Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:63:y:2012:i:2:p:174-180

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

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  1. Lepelley, Dominique & Merlin, Vincent & Rouet, Jean-Louis, 2011. "Three ways to compute accurately the probability of the referendum paradox," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 28-33, July.
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  5. Le Breton, Michel & Montero, Maria & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics," IDEI Working Papers 716, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Salvador BARBER?Author-Email: salvador.barbera@uab.es & Matthew O. JACKSON, 2003. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogenous Union," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 597.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  8. Nicola Maaser & Stefan Napel, 2007. "Equal representation in two-tier voting systems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 401-420, April.
  9. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
  10. Napel, Stefan & Widgren, Mika, 2004. "The Inter-institutional Distribution of Power in EU Codecision," Discussion Papers 944, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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Cited by:
  1. Sascha Kurz, 2014. "Measuring Voting Power in Convex Policy Spaces," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 45-77, March.
  2. Sascha Kurz & Nicola Maaser & Stefan Napel & Matthias Weber, 2014. "Mostly Sunny: A Forecast of Tomorrow's Power Index Research," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-058/I, Tinbergen Institute.

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