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Choice Democracy

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  • Olivier Ledoit

Abstract

Democracy is defined by two core tenets: voice and pluralism. Within these constraints, a wide variety of regime types can be designed. We show that the only new, untested form of democracy is when every citizen is governed by the political party of his/her choice. Multiple full-fledged governments would coexist in the same national territory at the same time, each one sovereign only over the people who chose to vote for it - hence the name: "Choice Democracy". Choice Democracy can be regarded as pure polyarchy, the broadest form of political competition, and a robust mechanism for disciplining government agencies. We argue that this system makes democracy more stable by reducing the risk of revolutionary and financial crises. We develop a theory for the optimal number of governments per countries, where the answer is determined by a trade-off between cooperation and competition. We also provide evidence indicating that Choice Democracy would be viable in the real world.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Ledoit, 2011. "Choice Democracy," ECON - Working Papers 038, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:038
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp038.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    3. Ryan Murphy & Amnon Rapoport & James Parco, 2006. "The breakdown of cooperation in iterative real-time trust dilemmas," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(2), pages 147-166, June.
    4. Frey, Bruno S. & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "FOCJ: Competitive governments for Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 315-327, September.
    5. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    6. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918, May.
    7. Cederman, Lars-Erik & Warren, T. Camber & Sornette, Didier, 2011. "Testing Clausewitz: Nationalism, Mass Mobilization, and the Severity of War," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 605-638, October.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:03:p:579-593_22 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; choice; polyarchy; stability; competition; effciency;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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