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Representative versus direct democracy: A Tiebout test of relative performance

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  • Rexford Santerre

Abstract

This study has used a Tiebout-type empirical model to analyze the overall differences in performance between representative and direct democratic forms of local government. In agreement with the underlying theory of representative democracy, representative forms of local government are found to be significantly inefficient relative to the direct democratic form of local government. The findings also indicate that a great similarity in efficiency exists between council-manager and mayor-council forms of local government. Both forms of local government appear to be equally inefficient compared to the open-town meeting. Further empirical analysis demonstrates that the cost of local representative government failure may be as high as 13 percent of the typical community's property tax base, which may be cause for some alarm. It should be mentioned that the results do not suggest that open-town meeting forms of government are necessarily efficient. (The median-voter model argues otherwise.) The results only indicate that the open-town meeting can be considered more efficient relative to the other forms of local government. Copyright Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1986

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 48 (1986)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 55-63

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:48:y:1986:i:1:p:55-63

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

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References

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  1. Rexford E. Santerre, 1985. "Spatial Differences in the Demands for Local Public Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 119-128.
  2. Pommerehne, Werner W & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "Fiscal Illusion, Political Institutions, and Local Public Spending," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 381-408.
  3. Sharon Megdal, 1983. "The determination of local public expenditures and the principal and agent relation: A case study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 71-87, January.
  4. Richardson, Harry W., 1977. "On the possibility of positive rent gradients," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 60-68, January.
  5. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  6. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Goldstein, Gerald S., 1975. "A model of public sector wage determination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 223-245, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Rexford Santerre, 1989. "Representative versus direct democracy: Are there any expenditure differences?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 145-154, February.
  2. Frey, Bruno S., 2004. "Direct Democracy for a Living Constitution," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 04/5, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "The Role of Direct Democracy and Federalism in Local Power," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-25, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  4. Wohlgemuth, Michael & Sideras, Jörn, 2004. "Globalisability of Universalisability? How to apply the Generality Principle and Constitutionalism internationally," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 04/7, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  5. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 144, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Asatryan, Zareh & De Witte, Kristof, 2014. "Direct democracy and local government efficiency," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-017, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Rexford Santerre, 1988. "Representative versus direct democracy a Tiebout test of relative performance: Reply," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 73-76, January.
  9. John Bradbury & W. Crain, 2005. "Legislative district configurations and fiscal policy in American States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 385-407, December.
  10. Libman, Alexander, 2009. "Essays on Asymmetric Federalism," MPRA Paper 21591, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Steven Deller & David Chicoine, 1988. "Representative versus direct democracy a Tiebout test of relative performance: Comment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 69-72, January.

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