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Ideology and endogenous constitutions


  • Alessandro Riboni



We study a legislature where decisions are made by playing an agenda-setting game. Legislators are concerned about their electoral prospects but they are also genuinely concerned for the legislature to make the correct decision. We show that when ideological polarization is positive but not too large (and the status quo is extremely inefficient), institutions in which the executive has either no constraints (autocracy) or many constraints (unanimity) are preferable to democracies that operate under an intermediate number of constraints (simple majority rule). When instead ideological polarization is large (and the status quo is only moderately inefficient), simple majority turns out to be preferable. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Riboni, 2013. "Ideology and endogenous constitutions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(3), pages 885-913, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:52:y:2013:i:3:p:885-913 DOI: 10.1007/s00199-011-0668-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision Making in Committees: Transparency, Reputation, and Voting Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 150-168, March.
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    6. Yildirim, Huseyin, 2007. "Proposal power and majority rule in multilateral bargaining with costly recognition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 167-196, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacek Rothert, 2015. "Monitoring, moral hazard, and turnover," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(2), pages 355-374, February.

    More about this item


    Majority rule; Position-taking preferences; Ideological polarization; Strategic interactions; Agenda-setting game; D7; D02;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact


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