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Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy

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  • Christian Schultz

Abstract

This paper investigates the merits of different democratic institutions when politics is uni-dimensional, there is uncertainty both about the preferences of the future electorate and the future polarization of political parties, and politicians have better information about the state of the world than voters. Three types of institutions are compared: direct democracy, representative democracy, where politicians are accountable and independent agencies, where they are not. Low uncertainty about the state of the world and the future electorate’s preferences and high expected polarization make direct democracy optimal, while the opposite configuration makes representative democracy optimal. Independent agencies are optimal for intermediate values.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1104.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1104

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Keywords: accountability; redistribution; constitutional design; voting; information; direct democracy;

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References

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  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  6. Anke Kessler, 2005. "Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 9-38, January.
  7. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
  8. : Christian Schultz, . "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Discussion Papers 93-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  9. Mailath, George J, 1987. "Incentive Compatibility in Signaling Games with a Continuum of Types," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1349-65, November.
  10. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Bureaucrats or Politicians?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2009, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why do Politicians Delegate?," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000470, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Erkoc, Taptuk Emre, 2013. "Efficiency of Public Sector Organizations: Perspectives from Theories of Bureaucracy," MPRA Paper 49386, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Clare Leaver & Jordi Blanes i Vidal, 2008. "Pandering Judges," Economics Series Working Papers 390, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part II: Multiple Policy Tasks," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000875, David K. Levine.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
  7. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2010. "Politics and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Clare Leaver, 2008. "Pandering Judges," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 002, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.

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