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Flexible Majority Rules

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Author Info

  • Ulrich Erlenmaier
  • Hans Gersbach

Abstract

In this paper we introduce flexible majority decision rules where the size of the majority depends on the proposal made by the agenda setter. Flexible majority rules can mitigate the disadvantages of democracies in the provision of public projects. In many cases, the combination of the principles taxation constraint to majority winners, a ban on subsidies, costly agenda setting and flexible majority rules constitute a socially optimal democratic constitution. Flexible majority rules might also be a useful decision-making procedure in other circumstances.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-04/cesifo_wp464.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 464.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_464

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Related research

Keywords: Flexible majority rules; incomplete social contract; constitutional treatment rules; provision of public projects;

References

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  1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1996. "Industrial policy and politics," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
  2. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules," Microeconomics 0211003, EconWPA.
  3. Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
  4. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  5. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections With Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1560, David K. Levine.
  6. Guttman, Joel M., 1998. "Unanimity and majority rule: the calculus of consent reconsidered," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 189-207, May.
  7. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
  8. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Gary-Bobo, Robert, 2008. "On the Optimal Number of Representatives," IDEI Working Papers 86, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 2003. "Incomplete Social Contracts," Scholarly Articles 4554123, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Hans Gersbach, 2002. "Democratic Mechanisms: Double Majority Rules and Flexible Agenda Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 749, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Becker, Johannes Gerd & Gersbach, Hans & Grimm, Oliver, 2010. "Debt-sensitive Majority Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 7860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hans Gersbach, 2011. "On the limits of democracy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 201-217, July.
  6. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars, 2005. "Can Democracy Educate a Society?," IZA Discussion Papers 1693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Christopher Cotton, 2010. "Dynamic Legislative Bargaining with Endogenous Agenda Setting Authority," Working Papers 2010-20, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  8. Bard Harstad, 2006. "Flexible Integration," Discussion Papers 1428, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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