A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE SEPARATION OF ELECTORAL ORIGIN

In democratic politics, voters delegate competing policy-making responsibilities to multiple elected agents: one agent is frequently tasked with initiating policies (the proposer ) whilst the other is charged with scrutinizing and either passing or rejecting these policies (the veto player ). A fundamental distinction lies in whether both offices are subject to direct and separate election, or whether the voter instead may directly elect only one office. Why should the voter benefit from a relatively coarse electoral instrument? When politicians’ abilities are private information, actions taken by one agent provide information about both agents’ types. A system in which their electoral fates are institutionally fused reduces the incentives of the veto player to build reputation through the specious rejection of the proposer’s policy initiatives. This can improve the voter’s welfare, relative to a system in which the survival of the veto player is institutionally separated from that of the proposer.


Issue Date:
2013-08
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270438
Language:
English
Total Pages:
55
Series Statement:
WERP 1021




 Record created 2018-04-02, last modified 2018-04-02

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