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Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy

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  • Christian Schultz

Abstract

This paper investigates the merits of different democratic institutions when politics is uni-dimensional, there is uncertainty both about the preferences of the future electorate and the future polarization of political parties, and politicians have better information about the state of the world than voters. Three types of institutions are compared: direct democracy, representative democracy, where politicians are accountable and independent agencies, where they are not. Low uncertainty about the state of the world and the future electorate’s preferences and high expected polarization make direct democracy optimal, while the opposite configuration makes representative democracy optimal. Independent agencies are optimal for intermediate values.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schultz, 2003. "Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1104, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1104
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1104.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Schultz, 1996. "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 331-344.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    3. : Christian Schultz, "undated". "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Discussion Papers 93-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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    8. Schultz, Christian, 2002. "Policy biases with voters' uncertainty about the economy and the government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 487-506, March.
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    11. Anke Kessler, 2005. "Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 9-38, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 169-179.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Bureaucrats or Politicians?," Working Papers 238, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2011. "Politics and Monetary Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 941-960, August.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 2008. "Bureaucrats or politicians? Part II: Multiple policy tasks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 426-447.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why do Politicians Delegate?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2079, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. James E. Alt & David D. Lassen, 2008. "Political And Judicial Checks On Corruption: Evidence From American State Governments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 33-61, March.
    7. Blanes i Vidal, Jordi & Leaver, Clare, 2011. "Are tenured judges insulated from political pressure?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 570-586.
    8. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Clare Leaver, 2008. "Pandering Judges," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 002, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    9. Vidal, Jordi Blanes I & Leaver, Clare, 2008. "Pandering judges," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58174, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Clare Leaver & Jordi Blanes i Vidal, 2008. "Pandering Judges," Economics Series Working Papers 390, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    11. Erkoc, Taptuk Emre, 2013. "Efficiency of Public Sector Organizations: Perspectives from Theories of Bureaucracy," MPRA Paper 49386, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    accountability; redistribution; constitutional design; voting; information; direct democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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