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Bribing Voters

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  • Ernesto Dal Bo

Abstract

We show how an outside party offering incentives to voters can manipulate at no cost collective decisions made through voting. Under influence, these decisions can become inefficient. Therefore, the market for policies may be more likely to fail than the markets for goods, because (democratic) politics involves influence and collective decisions to a greater extent than markets for goods do. We develop and use a model to analyze different incentive schemes, credibility situations, and payoff and information structures. We discuss implications for the efficiency of democracy, voting, lobbying, committee decision making, and legislatures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 39.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:39

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Keywords: voting; lobbying; democracy; committees; capture; corruption;

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References

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  1. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Discussion Papers 1103, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
  3. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  4. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2002. "Lobbying Legislatures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 919-948, August.
  5. Spiegler, Ran, 2000. "Extracting Interaction-Created Surplus," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 142-162, January.
  6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, December.
  7. Alessro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," Penn CARESS Working Papers b96440ba0bfa06ca550ac40aa, Penn Economics Department.
  8. Christopher J. Waller, 2000. "Policy Boards And Policy Smoothing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 305-339, February.
  9. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting With Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388, May.
  10. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  11. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
  12. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1985. "Optimal Selling Strategies under Uncertainty for a Discriminating Monopolist When Demands Are Interdependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 345-61, March.
  13. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
  14. Rasmusen, Eric & Ramseyer, J Mark, 1994. " Cheap Bribes and the Corruption Ban: A Coordination Game among Rational Legislators," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 305-27, March.
  15. Neeman, Zvika, 1999. "The Freedom to Contract and the Free-Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 685-703, October.
  16. Otmar Issing, 1999. "The Eurosystem: Transparent andAccountable or 'Willem in Euroland'," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 503-519, 09.
  17. Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
  18. Tullock, Gordon, 1998. "Reply to Guttman," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 215-218, May.
  19. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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