The Delegation Perspective on Representative Democracy
AbstractWhy do political constituencies delegate decision power to representative assemblies? And how is the size of such assemblies determined? We analyze these questions of constitutional design in a model with voters learning their preferred alternative only after engaging in costly information gathering. We show that there is an optimal assembly size that would be chosen at a constitutional stage. This implies a relationship between assembly and constituency size. We then compared this relationship to actual data. Fitting a single parameter to the data, we show that our model can explain the actual relationship between assembly and constituency size quite well.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse17_2002.
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
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Constitutional Design; Representative Democracy; Parliament Size; Information Costs;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-09-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2002-09-21 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-REG-2002-09-21 (Regulation)
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