Referenda as a Catch-22
The result of a referendum delivers a significant amount of information about social preferences to each composite member of the society. This paper argues that, beyond this obvious fact, the choice not to offer a referendum by an authority, although permitted to do so, may enhance as well the information individuals posses about social preferences. The addition of a referendum option in the rules of a game, that is, by enabling the authority to offer referenda at will, results in an assured re-election of authorities that implement socially beneficial policies, and in a decrease of the re-election probability of authorities that implement socially obnoxious policies. In a sense, by allowing an authority to offer referenda, an inescapable Catch-22 is introduced in the game, which inhibits the re-election of a measure of "bad" authorities and, thus, confirms that one of the main benefits of a democratic institution is the preservation of "good" authorities in power.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 37 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/355|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Anke Kessler, 2005.
"Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries,"
Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 9-38, January.
- Anke Kessler, 2000. "Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse18_2000, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Kessler, Anke, 2003. "Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994.
"Normal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness Prospers in Democracy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 79-102, March.
- Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
- Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
- Jeffrey S. Banks, 1990. "Monopoly Agenda Control and Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 445-464.
- Bruno S Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "What are the sources of happiness?," Economics working papers 2000-27, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, .
IEW - Working Papers
022, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2007.
"Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1877-1900, December.
- Caillaud, Bernard & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," IDEI Working Papers 435, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," Post-Print halshs-00754650, HAL.
- Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Consensus building: How to persuade a group," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590459, HAL.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, .
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
IEW - Working Papers
015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Esteban Klor & Eyal Winter, 2007. "The welfare effects of public opinion polls," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(3), pages 379-394, February.
- Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:37:y:2011:i:1:p:121-138. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.