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On the Buyability of Voting Bodies

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  • Felix J. J. Vardy
  • John Morgan

Abstract

We study vote buying by competing interest groups in a variety of electoral and contractual settings. While increasing the size of a voting body reduces its buyability in the absence of competition, we show that larger voting bodies may be more buyable than smaller voting bodies when interest groups compete. In contrast, imposing the secret ballot---which we model as forcing interest groups to contract on outcomes rather than votes---is an effective way to fight vote buying in the presence of competition, but much less so in its absence. We also study more sophisticated vote buying contracts. We show that, regardless of competition, the option to contract on both votes and outcomes is worthless, as it does not affect buyability as compared to contracting only on votes. In contrast, when interest groups can contract on votes and vote shares, we show that voting bodies are uniquely at risk of being bought.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/165.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/165

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  1. Elhanan Helpman & Gene M. Grossman, 1999. "Competing for Endorsements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 501-524, June.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, 2001. "Electoral Rules and Corruption," CESifo Working Paper Series 416, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  5. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Sequential Legislative Lobbying," LERNA Working Papers, LERNA, University of Toulouse 12.19.376, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. Emmanuelle Auriol & Robert Gary-Bobo, 2012. "On the optimal number of representatives," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 419-445, December.
  3. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2009. "Sequential legislative lobbying," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 8/2009, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.

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