Explaining Institutional Change: Why Elected Politicians Implement Direct Democracy
AbstractWhy did representative politicians introduce direct democratic reforms, thus binding their own hands? This paper presents a formal model in which (1) voters are uncertain about their representative’s preferences; (2) direct and representative elections are substitute methods for voters to control outcomes. Some politicians benefit from the introduction of direct democracy, since they are more likely to survive representative elections. Historical evidence from the introduction of the initiative, referendum and recall in America supports the theory, which also explains two puzzling empirical results: legislators are trusted less, but reelected more, in US states with direct democracy.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 25.
Date of creation: 2010
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Other versions of this item:
- David Hugh-Jones, 2008. "Explaining Institutional Change: Why Elected Politicians Implement Direct Democracy," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-085, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
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