Ideology and Endogenous Constitutions
A legislature has to reach a collective decision in either of two states of nature. In the first state, legislators vote over an ideological issue. In this state, legislators may not vote for the pragmatic (optimal) policy and, instead, confirm voters' ideological bias. In the second state, the legislature handles an issue that is not ideologically charged. We find the optimal majority rule under the veil of ignorance. The chosen majority rule affects (i) the nature and quality of policy reforms, (ii) the probability that changes are made (iii) the incentives of legislators with ideological constituencies to become agenda setter. We find that in some cases the optimal majority rule is hump-shaped with respect to ideological polarization. Finally, we test some of our theoretical predictions.
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