Why So Much Stability?: Majority Voting, Legislative Institutions, and Gordon Tullock

30 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2015

See all articles by Kenneth Shepsle

Kenneth Shepsle

Harvard University - Department of Government

Barry R. Weingast

Stanford University, Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Gordon Tullock, nearly a half century ago, raised questions about Arrow’s Theorem (“a phantom has stalked the classrooms and seminars of economics and political science”). He followed this up by asking, in light of Arrow’s Theorem, “Why so much stability?” In this paper a more nuanced understanding of the operating characteristics of majority rule in institutional settings, anticipated and stimulated by Tullock, is spelled out. A major distinction is made between preference cycles and voting cycles, suggesting why Arrow’s phantom still stalks, but that Tullock’s intuitions are germane as well.

Keywords: voting cycles, preference cycles, majority rule, equilibrium, legislative choice

JEL Classification: H11, N40, P16

Suggested Citation

Shepsle, Kenneth and Weingast, Barry R., Why So Much Stability?: Majority Voting, Legislative Institutions, and Gordon Tullock (2012). Public Choice, Vol. 152, No. 1-2, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2554784

Kenneth Shepsle

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

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Barry R. Weingast (Contact Author)

Stanford University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-723-0497 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)

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