Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions
AbstractConstitutional arrangements affect the decisions made by a society. We study how this effect leads to preferences of citizens over constitutions; and ultimately how this has a feedback that determines which constitutions can survive in a given society. Constitutions are stylized here, to consist of a voting rule for ordinary business and possibly a different voting rule for making changes to the constitution. We define an equilibrium notion for constitutions, called self-stability, whereby under the rules of a self-stable constitution, the society would not vote to change the constitution. We argue that only self-stable constitutions will endure. We prove that self-stable constitutions always exist, but that most constitutions (even very prominent ones) may not be self-stable for some societies. We show that constitutions where the voting rule used to amend the constitution is the same as the voting rule used for ordinary business are dangerously simplistic, and there are (many) societies for which no such constitution is self-stable. We conclude with a characterization of the set of self-stable constitutions that use majority rule for ordinary business. © 2004 MIT Press
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 119 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2000. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," Working Papers 57, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Salvador BARBER?Author-Email: email@example.com & Matthew O. JACKSON, 2003. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 596.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Torsten Persson, 2001.
"Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?,"
NBER Working Papers
8214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997.
"Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004.
"Voting on Majority Rules,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
- Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
- Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002.
"Endogenous Political Institutions,"
NBER Working Papers
9006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto & Trebbi, Francesco, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Scholarly Articles 4481498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Albero Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1957, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Aghion, P. & Alesina, A. & Trebbi, F., 2004. "Endogenous political institutions," Open Access publications from University College London http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Danilo Coelho, 2005. "Maximin choice of voting rules for committees," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-175, 07.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.