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Electoral Uncertainty and Public Goods

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  • Aidt, T.S.
  • Dutta, J.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aidt, T.S. & Dutta, J., 2008. "Electoral Uncertainty and Public Goods," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0843, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0843
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Agency; Performance Voting; Turnout Uncertainty; Public Finance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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