Does Political Representation through Parties Decrease Voters' Acceptance of Decisions?

32 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013

See all articles by Emanuel V. Towfigh

Emanuel V. Towfigh

EBS Law School; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Andreas Glöckner

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne

Sebastian J. Goerg

Florida State University - Department of Economics; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Philip Leifeld

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Carlos Kurschilgen

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Aniol Llorente-Saguer

Queen Mary University of London

Sophie Bade

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

Are decisions by political parties more or less accepted than direct-democratic decisions? The literature on parties as brand names or labels suggests that the existence of political parties lowers information and transaction costs of voters by providing ideological packages. Building on this important argument, we posit that this informational rationale for parties is not universally applicable and is contingent on the context of the decision that is made. Intermediary political decision-making institutions may impose additional costs on voters in situations where the decision is perceived to be personally important to the individual voter. We conduct an experimental online vignette study to substantiate these claims. The results imply that a combination of representative democracy and direct democracy, conditional on the distribution of issue importance among the electorate, is optimal with regard to acceptance of a decision.

Suggested Citation

Towfigh, Emanuel V. and Glöckner, Andreas and Goerg, Sebastian J. and Leifeld, Philip and Kurschilgen, Carlos and Llorente-Saguer, Aniol and Bade, Sophie, Does Political Representation through Parties Decrease Voters' Acceptance of Decisions? (June 1, 2013). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2013/10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2273600 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2273600

Emanuel V. Towfigh

EBS Law School ( email )

Gustav-Stresemann-Ring 3
Wiesbaden, 65189
Germany
+49 611 7102-2253 (Phone)
+49 611 7102-10-2253 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lehrstuhl-towfigh.de

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+49 228 91416-30 (Phone)
+49 228 91416-930 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/emanuel_towfigh

Andreas Glöckner

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/andreas_gloeckner

University of Cologne ( email )

Richard-Strauss-Str. 2
Köln, 50931
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://soccco.uni-koeln.de/andreas-gloeckner.html

Sebastian J. Goerg

Florida State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States
+1 (850) 644-7083 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.s-goerg.de

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de

Philip Leifeld (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Carlos Kurschilgen

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Aniol Llorente-Saguer

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Lincoln's Inn Fields
Mile End Rd.
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/aniollls/

Sophie Bade

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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