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On the Optimal Number of Representatives

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  • E. Auriol
  • R. Gary-Bobo

Abstract

We propose a normative theory of the number of representatives based on a model of a representative democracy. We derive a formula giving the number of representatives as proportional to the square root of total population. Simple tests of the formula on a sample of a 100 countries yield good results. We then discuss the appropriateness of the number of representatives in some countries. It seems that the United States has too few representatives, while France and Italy have too many. The excess number of representatives matters: it is positively correlated with indicators of red tape and barriers to entrepreneurship. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2000-01.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2000-01

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Helge Berger & Tonny Lybek & Volker Nitsch, 2006. "Central Bank Boards Around the World: Why Does Membership Size Differ?," IMF Working Papers 06/281, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Gary-Bobo, Robert J., 2007. "On the Optimal Number of Representatives," CEPR Discussion Papers 6417, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Amedeo Piolatto, 2009. "Plurality versus proportional electoral rule: study of voters' representativeness," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-14, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  4. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Gary-Bobo, Robert J., 2002. "On Robust Constitution Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2004. "Committee Design in the Presence of Communication," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm351, Yale School of Management.
  6. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2007. "Information Acquisition in Committees," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1411R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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