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On the buyability of voting bodies

Author

Listed:
  • John Morgan

    (Haas School of Business and Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA)

  • Felix Várdy

    () (Haas School of Business and International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

Abstract

We study vote buying by competing interest groups in a variety of electoral and contractual settings. While increasing the size of a voting body reduces its buyability in the absence of competition, we show that larger voting bodies may be more buyable than smaller voting bodies when interest groups compete. In contrast, imposing the secret ballot is an effective way to fight vote buying in the presence of competition, but much less so in its absence. Regardless of competition, the option to contract on both votes and outcomes is worthless, as it does not affect buyability compared to contracting only on votes. The option to contract on votes and vote shares, on the other hand, is extremely valuable: it allows the first mover to effectively nullify competition and obtain its preferred policy at almost the monopoly cost.

Suggested Citation

  • John Morgan & Felix Várdy, 2011. "On the buyability of voting bodies," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 23(2), pages 260-287, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:23:y:2011:i:2:p:260-287
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, 2003. "Electoral Rules and Corruption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 958-989, June.
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    6. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
      • Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005. "Vote buying," Working Papers 1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuelle Auriol & Robert Gary-Bobo, 2012. "On the optimal number of representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 419-445, December.
    2. Michel Le Breton & Peter Sudhölter & Vera Zaporozhets, 2012. "Sequential legislative lobbying," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(2), pages 491-520, July.
    3. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:4:p:773-792 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:kap:pubcho:v:173:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0470-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; elections; lobbying; vote buying;

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