Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries
The paper studies the relative merits of direct and representative legislation in a setting where voters are uncertain both with respect to the likely consequences of different policies and with respect to the political preferences of their fellow citizens. Under representative legislation, the latter translates into uncertainty on the elected official’s future policy intentions which involves a loss of control. The resulting discretionary power, however, also leads officials to endogenously acquire competence on the issues they oversee and specialize in policy formation. Policies determined in representative democracies are therefore better tailored to relevant contingencies but less close to the preferences of a majority than those determined in popular ballots. It is shown that the extent of the resulting trade-off depends on the set of alternatives among which the policy is to be chosen. Two extensions, referenda and the possibility of re-election, are briefly considered. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 122 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/public+finance/journal/11127/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy'',"
CARESS Working Papres
95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct Democracy: Politico-economic Lessons from Swiss Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 338-42, May.
- Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996.
"A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
- Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
- Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-48, October.
- repec:ner:ucllon:http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/17678/ is not listed on IDEAS
- Rexford Santerre, 1989. "Representative versus direct democracy: Are there any expenditure differences?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 145-154, February.
- Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2000. "Direct democracy, political culture, and the outcome of economic policy: a report on the Swiss experience," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 287-306, June.
- Steunenberg, Bernard, 1992. "Referendum, Initiative, and Veto Power: Budgetary Decision Making in Local Government," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 501-29.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997.
"Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, 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. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Anthony M. Marino & John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 301-325.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
- Osband, Kent, 1989. "Optimal Forecasting Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1091-1112, October.
- Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998.
"When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-97, March.
- Cukierman, A. & Tommasi, M., 1997. "When does it take a Nixon to go to China?," Discussion Paper 1997-91, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Mariano Tommasi, 1995. "Why Does it Take a Nixon to go to China?," UCLA Economics Working Papers 728, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Cukierman, A. & Tommasi, M., 1997. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China," Papers 30-97, Tel Aviv.
- Castanheira, Micael, 2002. "On the (Non) Paradox of (Not) Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3126, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Friedrich Schneider, 1999. "Die Entwicklung der Sozialpolitik in repräsentativen und in direkten Demokratien: Königsweg oder Sackgasse? Einige Bemerkungen aus der "Public Choice"-Perspektive," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 135(III), pages 387-406, September.
- Lars P. Feld & John G. Matsusaka, 2000. "Budget Referendums and Government Spending: Evidence from Swiss," CESifo Working Paper Series 323, CESifo Group Munich.
- John G. Matsusaka, 1992. "Economics of Direct Legislation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 541-571.
- Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
- Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:122:y:2005:i:1:p:9-38. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.