Referenda as a Catch-22
AbstractThe result of a referendum delivers a significant amount of information about social preferences to each composite member of the society. This paper argues that, beyond this obvious fact, the choice not to offer a referendum by an authority, although permitted to do so, may enhance as well the information individuals posses about social preferences. The addition of a referendum option in the rules of a game, that is, by enabling the authority to offer referenda at will, results in an assured re-election of authorities that implement socially beneficial policies, and in a decrease of the re-election probability of authorities that implement socially obnoxious policies. In a sense, by allowing an authority to offer referenda, an inescapable Catch-22 is introduced in the game, which inhibits the re-election of a measure of "bad" authorities and, thus, confirms that one of the main benefits of a democratic institution is the preservation of "good" authorities in power.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17084.
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
Date of revision:
referendum; democracy; catch-22;
Other versions of this item:
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2007.
"Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1877-1900, December.
- Caillaud, Bernard & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
- Caillaud, Bernard & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," IDEI Working Papers 435, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Consensus building: How to persuade a group," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590459, HAL.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1997.
"Formal and real authority in organizations,"
Open Access publications from University College London
http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Bruno S Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "What are the sources of happiness?," Economics working papers 2000-27, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Anke Kessler, 2000.
"Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries,"
Bonn Econ Discussion Papers
bgse18_2000, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Anke Kessler, 2005. "Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 9-38, January.
- Kessler, Anke, 2003. "Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000.
German Economic Review,
Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 145-167, 05.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
246, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness Prospers in Democracy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 79-102, March.
- Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
- Banks, Jeffrey S, 1990. "Monopoly Agenda Control and Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 445-64, May.
- Esteban Klor & Eyal Winter, 2007. "The welfare effects of public opinion polls," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 379-394, February.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
- Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010.
"The disadvantage of winning an election,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
811.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Enriqueta Aragones & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," ESE Discussion Papers 194, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Aragonès, Enriqueta & Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-21, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010. "The Disadvantage of Winning an Election," Working Papers 439, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.