Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions
Constitutional arrangements affect the decisions made by a society. We study how this effect leads to preferences of citizens over constitutions; and ultimately how this has a feedback that determines which constitutions can survive in a given society. Constitutions are stylized here, to consist of a voting rule for ordinary business and possibly a different voting rule for making changes to the constitution. We define an equilibrium notion for constitutions, called self-stability, whereby under the rules of a self-stable constitution, the society would not vote to change the constitution. We argue that only self-stable constitutions will endure. We prove that self-stable constitutions always exist, but that most constitutions (even very prominent ones) may not be self-stable for some societies. We show that constitutions where the voting rule used to amend the constitution is the same as the voting rule used for ordinary business are dangerously simplistic, and there are (many) societies for which no such constitution is self-stable. We conclude with a characterization of the set of self-stable constitutions that use majority rule for ordinary business. © 2004 MIT Press
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): 119 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/|
|Order Information:||Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00335533|
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.:
- Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004.
"Endogenous Political Institutions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611, May.
- Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Philippe Aghion & Albero Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1957, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto & Trebbi, Francesco, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Scholarly Articles 4481498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997.
"Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004.
"Voting on Majority Rules,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
- Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
- Danilo Coelho, 2005. "Maximin choice of voting rules for committees," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-175, 07.
- Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
- Torsten Persson, 2001.
"Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?,"
NBER Working Papers
8214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:3:p:1011-1048. 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: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.