Do supermajority rules limit or enhance majority tyranny? evidence from the US States, 1960–1997
Buchanan and Tullock (1962) demonstrates that supermajority rules can reduce tyranny of majority problems in a democracy. However, recent theoretical work by Dixit, Grossman, and Gul (2000) postulates that this static analysis of supermajority rules may be inadequate to explain political decisions in a dynamic setting. In fact, supermajority rules may increase the incidence of majority tyranny because of rotating political representation. Using data from US state legislatures we examine the effect of supermajority rules on different categories of government expenditures and tax revenues during the latter half of the 20th century. We find supermajority rules have little effect on general government expenditures and tax revenues. However, supermajority rules are associated with lower public welfare transfers, which supports the traditional analysis of the fiscal effects of supermajority rules. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006
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