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Voting on Majority Rules

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  • Matthias Messner
  • Mattias K. Polborn

Abstract

We analyse an overlapping generations model of voting on "reform projects". These resemble investments in that they first require some investment expenditure and later payoff. Since the time during which old people get the benefit is shorter, or because older people are more wealthy and hence pay more taxes, they are more conservative (against reforms) than young people.We show that if people vote on which majority should be required in future elections for a bill to become a law, the winning proposal specifies a supermajority. This result is very robust even if age related conflict is only one determinant among others for voting behaviour in the society. Copyright 2004, Wiley-Blackwell.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:71:y:2004:i:1:p:115-132
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/0034-6527.00278
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