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The eclipse of legislatures: Direct democracy in the 21st century

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  • John Matsusaka

Abstract

Demographic, political, and technological trends are fueling an unprecedented growth in direct democracy worldwide. If the trends continue, direct democracy threatens to eclipse legislatures in setting the policy agenda. This article reviews existing scientific knowledge about the initiative and referendum – the main institutions of direct democracy – and highlights key issues for the future. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • John Matsusaka, 2005. "The eclipse of legislatures: Direct democracy in the 21st century," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 157-177, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:124:y:2005:i:1:p:157-177
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-4760-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2015. "Does direct democracy make for better citizens? A cautionary warning based on cross-country evidence," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 391-420, December.
    2. Hofer, Katharina E. & Marti, Christian & Bütler, Monika, 2017. "Ready to reform: How popular initiatives can be successful," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 16-39.
    3. Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Tridimas, George & Lindgren, Anna, 2017. "Making Direct Democracy Work. An economic perspective on the graphe paranomon in ancient Athens," Working Papers 2017:10, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    4. Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2010. "Redistributive policies with heterogeneous social preferences of voters," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 743-759, August.
    5. Mwangi Kimenyi & William Shughart, 2010. "The political economy of constitutional choice: a study of the 2005 Kenyan constitutional referendum," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-27, March.
    6. Baber, William R. & Gore, Angela K. & Rich, Kevin T. & Zhang, Jean X., 2013. "Accounting restatements, governance and municipal debt financing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 212-227.
    7. Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Quorum and Turnout in Referenda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, June.
    8. Carlos Rico Motos, 2019. "‘Let the Citizens Fix This Mess!’ Podemos’ Claim for Participatory Democracy in Spain," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(2), pages 187-197.
    9. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the political principal-agent problem from voting on public finance for concert halls," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 215-238, September.
    10. Carl Hampus Lyttkens & George Tridimas & Anna Lindgren, 2018. "Making direct democracy work: a rational-actor perspective on the graphe paranomon in ancient Athens," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 389-412, December.
    11. Emmanouil M. L. Economou & Nicholas C. Kyriazis & Theodore Metaxas, 2017. "Ancient Athenians, Californians and Modern Greeks: A Comparative Analysis of Choice Set Under Direct Democracy Procedures," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 47-65, April.
    12. Simon Hug, 2009. "Some thoughts about referendums, representative democracy, and separation of powers," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 251-266, September.
    13. George Tridimas, 2017. "Constitutional choice in ancient Athens: the evolution of the frequency of decision making," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 209-230, September.
    14. Matthias Fatke, 2013. "Allure or Alternative? Direct Democracy and Party Identification," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 4, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
    15. Seebauer, Michael, 2015. "Does direct democracy foster efficient policies? An experimental investigation of costly initiatives," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    16. George Tridimas, 2010. "Referendum and the choice between monarchy and republic in Greece," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 119-144, June.
    17. Olken, Benjamin A., 2010. "Direct Democracy and Local Public Goods: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 243-267, May.
    18. Le Bihan, Patrick, 2015. "Popular Referendum and Electoral Accountability," IAST Working Papers 15-31, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    19. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2013. "Dominance Concepts for Fehr-Schmidt Preferences," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/09, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    20. Tridimas, George, 2007. "Ratification through referendum or parliamentary vote: When to call a non-required referendum?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 674-692, September.
    21. Sanne Zwart, 2007. "Fixing the Quorum: Representation versus Abstention," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/07, European University Institute.
    22. Blume Lorenz & Döring Thomas & Voigt Stefan, 2008. "Fiskalische Effekte der Kommunalverfassungsreformen der 1990er Jahre in Deutschland / Reforming Local Constitutions in Germany during the 1990s – Their Fiscal Effects," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(4), pages 317-344, August.
    23. Sabine Flamand & Orestis Troumpounis, 2014. "Participation quorums in costly meetings," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 53-62, April.
    24. Michael Mitsopoulos & Theodore Pelagidis, 2017. "A model of constitutional design and corruption," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 67-90, August.
    25. John G. Matsusaka, 2018. "Public policy and the initiative and referendum: a survey with some new evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 174(1), pages 107-143, January.

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