Why One Person One Vote?
18 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2000
Date Written: December 1999
We provide a justification why the core principal in liberal democracies one-person-one-vote is socially desirable. We compare two possible constitutions. Under a "fixed democracy", every person has one vote and has the same chance to propose public good provision. Under a "flexible democracy", an agenda setter can additionally propose to limit future participation in voting and agenda setting. We show that a fixed democracy induces more restrictions on attempts of majorities to tax minorities than a flexible democracy. A flexible democracy may be more suited to enable a polity to undertake public projects. This possible advantage is too small to outweigh taxation distortions and citizens unanimously favor the one-person-one-vote rule ex ante.
JEL Classification: H11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation