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 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 rule. We conclude with a characterization of the set of self-stable constitutions that use majority rule for ordinary business.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 57.
Date of creation: Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1011-1048, August.
- Salvador BARBER?Author-Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & 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).
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Barbera, Salvador, 2002. "Choosing How Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules," Working Papers 1145, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules," Microeconomics 0211003, EconWPA.
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
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.:
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997.
"Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy,"
630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004.
"Voting on Majority Rules,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
- Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002.
"Endogenous Political Institutions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Torsten Persson, 2002.
"Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?,"
Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
- Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
- 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 statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.