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The Delegation Perspective on Representative Democracy

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  • Roland Hain
  • Manipushpak Mitra

Abstract

Why 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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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse17_2002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse17_2002.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse17_2002

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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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Keywords: Constitutional Design; Representative Democracy; Parliament Size; Information Costs;

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