Flexible Majority Rules

29 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2000

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ulrich Erlenmaier

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

In this paper we introduce flexible majority decision rules where the size of the majority depends on the proposal made by the agenda setter. Flexible majority rules can mitigate the disadvantages of democracies in the provision of public projects. In many cases, the combination of the principles taxation constraint to majority winners, a ban on subsidies, costly agenda setting and flexible majority rules constitute a socially optimal democratic constitution. Flexible majority rules might also be a useful decision-making procedure in other circumstances.

Keywords: Flexible Majority Rules, Incomplete Social Contract, Constitutional Treatment Rules, Provision of Public Projects

JEL Classification: D62, D72, H40

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Erlenmaier, Ulrich, Flexible Majority Rules (April 2001). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 464. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=205829

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Ulrich Erlenmaier

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Grabengasse 14
Heidelberg, D-69117
Germany
+49 6221 542958 (Phone)
+49 6221 543578 (Fax)

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