On the Buyability of Voting Bodies

34 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2007

See all articles by John Morgan

John Morgan

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group

Felix Várdy

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: July 2007


We study vote buying by competing interest groups in a variety of electoral and contractual settings. While increasing the size of a voting body reduces its buyability in the absence of competition, we show that larger voting bodies may be more buyable than smaller voting bodies when interest groups compete. In contrast, imposing the secret ballot---which we model as forcing interest groups to contract on outcomes rather than votes---is an effective way to fight vote buying in the presence of competition, but much less so in its absence. We also study more sophisticated vote buying contracts. We show that, regardless of competition, the option to contract on both votes and outcomes is worthless, as it does not affect buyability as compared to contracting only on votes. In contrast, when interest groups can contract on votes and vote shares, we show that voting bodies are uniquely at risk of being bought.

Keywords: Working Paper, Corruption, Competition, Public sector

Suggested Citation

Morgan, John and Várdy, Felix, On the Buyability of Voting Bodies (July 2007). IMF Working Papers, Vol. , pp. 1-32, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1007914

John Morgan

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-2669 (Phone)
810-885-5959 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/rjmorgan/

Felix Várdy (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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