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How quorum rules distort referendum outcomes: Evidence from a pivotal voter model

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  • Aguiar-Conraria, Luís
  • Magalhães, Pedro C.
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    Abstract

    In many jurisdictions, whether referendum results are binding depends on legally defined quorum requirements. We use a pivotal voter model to examine the consequences of such requirements. We find that, although quorum rules differ in consequences, a status quo bias that is usually attributed need not be present and that quorum rules may work against the status quo. The rules can also both favor minorities and reduce voter turnout. Because quorum rules can create situations in which the secrecy of the vote is compromised, the door is opened to undemocratic forms of social and political pressure.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V97-4YK7HWC-1/2/91cb24e2bdeb837b960f4da92c3d3ded
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 541-557

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:26:y:2010:i:4:p:541-557

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

    Related research

    Keywords: Quorum rules Referendum Pivotal voter model;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Sabine Flamand & Orestis Troumpounis, 2014. "Participation quorums in costly meetings," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 53-62, April.
    2. Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro C. Magalhães & Christoph A. Vanberg, 2013. "Experimental evidence that quorum rules discourage turnout and promote election boycotts," NIPE Working Papers 14/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    3. Marc Pauly, 2013. "Characterizing referenda with quorums via strategy-proofness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 581-597, October.
    4. Yoichi Hizen & Masafumi Shinmyo, 2011. "Imposing a turnout threshold in referendums," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 491-503, September.

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