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On the buyability of voting bodies

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Author Info

  • John Morgan

    (Haas School of Business and Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA)

  • Felix Várdy

    ()
    (Haas School of Business and International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

Abstract

We study vote buying by competing interest groups in a variety of electoral and contractual settings. While increasing the size of a voting body reduces its buyability in the absence of competition, we show that larger voting bodies may be more buyable than smaller voting bodies when interest groups compete. In contrast, imposing the secret ballot is an effective way to fight vote buying in the presence of competition, but much less so in its absence. Regardless of competition, the option to contract on both votes and outcomes is worthless, as it does not affect buyability compared to contracting only on votes. The option to contract on votes and vote shares, on the other hand, is extremely valuable: it allows the first mover to effectively nullify competition and obtain its preferred policy at almost the monopoly cost.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by in its journal Journal of Theoretical Politics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 260-287

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:23:y:2011:i:2:p:260-287

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Keywords: corruption; elections; lobbying; vote buying;

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References

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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2005. "Vote Buying," Others 0503006, EconWPA.
    • Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005. "Vote buying," Working Papers 1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    • Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Grossman, G-M & Helpman, E, 1996. "Competing for Endorsements," Papers 182, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, . "Electoral Rules and Corruption," Working Papers 182, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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Cited by:
  1. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Sequential Legislative Lobbying," TSE Working Papers 12-299, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Emmanuelle Auriol & Robert J. Gary-Bobo, 1998. "On the Optimal Number of Representatives," Discussion Papers 1286, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Sequential Legislative Lobbying," LERNA Working Papers 12.19.376, LERNA, University of Toulouse.

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