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The eclipse of legislatures: Direct democracy in the 21st century

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  • John Matsusaka

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Abstract

Demographic, political, and technological trends are fueling an unprecedented growth in direct democracy worldwide. If the trends continue, direct democracy threatens to eclipse legislatures in setting the policy agenda. This article reviews existing scientific knowledge about the initiative and referendum – the main institutions of direct democracy – and highlights key issues for the future. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-4760-1
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 124 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 157-177

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:124:y:2005:i:1:p:157-177

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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References

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  1. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  2. Kessler, Anke, 2003. "Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1979. "Bureaucrats versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-87, November.
  4. Anthony M. Marino & John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 301-325.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  7. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "The impact of voter initiatives on economic activity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 207-226, March.
  8. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
  9. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
  10. Feld, Lars P & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. " Does Direct Democracy Reduce Public Debt? Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 347-70, December.
  11. Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-48, October.
  12. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
  13. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  14. Matsusaka, John G, 2000. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative in the First Half of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 619-50, October.
  15. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
  16. Matsusaka, John G, 1992. "Economics of Direct Legislation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 541-71, May.
  17. Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
  18. Reza Baqir, 2002. "Districting and Government Overspending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1318-1354, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2013. "Dominance Concepts for Fehr-Schmidt Preferences," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/09, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  2. Baber, William R. & Gore, Angela K. & Rich, Kevin T. & Zhang, Jean X., 2013. "Accounting restatements, governance and municipal debt financing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 212-227.
  3. Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "Evidence on the political principal-agent problem from voting on public finance for concert halls," Munich Reprints in Economics 19268, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Matthias Fatke, 2013. "Allure or Alternative? Direct Democracy and Party Identification," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 4, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
  5. Tridimas, George, 2007. "Ratification through referendum or parliamentary vote: When to call a non-required referendum?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 674-692, September.
  6. Mwangi Kimenyi & William Shughart, 2010. "The political economy of constitutional choice: a study of the 2005 Kenyan constitutional referendum," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-27, March.
  7. Lorenz Blume & Thomas Doering & Stefan Voigt, 2008. "Fiskalische Effekte der Kommunalverfassungsreformen der 1990er Jahre in Deutschland," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(4), pages 317-344, August.
  8. Jaronicki, Katharina Eva & Marti, Christian & Bütler, Monika, 2014. "Ready to Reform: How Popular Initiatives Can Be Successful," Economics Working Paper Series 1419, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  9. Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2010. "Redistributive policies with heterogeneous social preferences of voters," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 743-759, August.
  10. George Tridimas, 2011. "A political economy perspective of direct democracy in ancient Athens," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 58-82, March.
  11. Simon Hug, 2009. "Some thoughts about referendums, representative democracy, and separation of powers," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 251-266, September.
  12. Sanne Zwart, 2007. "Fixing the Quorum: Representation versus Abstention," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/07, European University Institute.
  13. George Tridimas, 2010. "Referendum and the choice between monarchy and republic in Greece," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 119-144, June.
  14. Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Direct Democracy and Local Public Goods: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 14123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sabine Flamand & Orestis Troumpounis, 2014. "Participation quorums in costly meetings," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 53-62, April.

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