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Electoral Uncertainty and Public Goods

  • Aidt, T.S.
  • Dutta, J.

This paper argues that uncertain or random voter turnout plays a key role in mediating conflicts of interest between voters and politicians on the one hand and heterogenous groups of voters on the other. Random voter turnout creates an incentive for politicians to seek con- sensus because it is unclear ex ante who will hold the majority among those who turn out to vote. We argue that this leads to efficient provision of public goods and that it protects minority groups against the tyranny of the majority. We also argue that compulsory voting may not be desirable because it reduces randomness in turnouts.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0843.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0843
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  1. Alessro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," Penn CARESS Working Papers b96440ba0bfa06ca550ac40aa, Penn Economics Department.
  2. Aidt, Toke S. & Dutta, Jayasri, 2004. "Strategic consensus," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 227-245, June.
  3. Hans Peter Gruner & Giacomo Corneo, 2000. "Social Limits to Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1491-1507, December.
  4. Lin, Tse-Min & Enelow, James M & Dorussen, Han, 1999. " Equilibrium in Multicandidate Probabilistic Spatial Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 59-82, January.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521622912 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521021807 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Aidt, Toke Skovsgaard, 2003. "Redistribution and deadweight cost: the role of political competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 205-226, June.
  9. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
  10. Aidt, Toke S. & Magris, Francesco, 2006. "Capital taxation and electoral accountability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 277-291, June.
  11. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
  12. Winer, S.L. & Rutherford, T., 1991. "Coercive Redistribution and Franchise : A Preliminary Investigation Using Computable General Equilibrium Modelling," Papers 5, Carleton - School of Public Administration.
  13. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  14. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  15. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521894753 is not listed on IDEAS
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