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Elections, Contracts and Markets

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Abstract

As the performance of long-term projects is not observable in the short run politicians may pander to public opinion. To solve this problem, we propose a triple mechanism involving political information markets, reelection threshold contracts, and democratic elections. An information market is used to predict the long-term performance of a policy, while threshold contracts stipulate a price level on the political information market that a politician must reach to have the right to stand for reelection. Reelection thresholds are offered by politicians during campaigns. We show that, on balance, the triple mechanism increases social welfare.

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  • Hans Gersbach & Markus Müller, 2006. "Elections, Contracts and Markets," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/56, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:06-56
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Berlemann, Michael & Schmidt, Carsten, 2001. "Predictive accuracy of political stock markets: Empirical evidence from a European perspective," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,57, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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    3. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
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    5. William R. Cline, 1992. "Economics of Global Warming, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 39.
    6. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2008. "Reelection threshold contracts in politics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 233-255, August.
    7. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 107-126, Spring.
    8. David Romer, 2003. "Misconceptions and Political Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 1-20, January.
    9. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    10. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    11. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Tax contracts and elections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1461-1479.
    12. Hahn, Volker, 2009. "Reciprocity and voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-480, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Gersbach, 2007. "Anreize für Weitsicht und Wiederwahlschwellen: Wege zur besseren Demokratie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(4), pages 389-397, November.
    2. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    3. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2008. "Reelection threshold contracts in politics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 233-255, August.
    4. Gersbach, Hans, 2007. "Vote-share Contracts and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Hans Gersbach & Markus Müller, 2011. "Information Markets, Elections and Contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3327, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Markus Müller, 2009. "Vote-Share Contracts and Learning-by-Doing," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/114, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.

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    Keywords

    elections; threshold contracts; democracy; information markets; triple mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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