Democratic Policy Making with Real-Time Agenda Setting: Part 1

51 Pages Posted: 30 May 2002 Last revised: 27 Oct 2010

See all articles by B. Douglas Bernheim

B. Douglas Bernheim

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Antonio Rangel

California Institute of Technology

Luis Rayo

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: May 2002

Abstract

We examine democratic policy-making in a simple institution with real-time agenda setting. Individuals are recognized sequentially. Once recognized, an individual makes a proposal, which is immediately put to a vote. If a proposal passes, it supercedes all previously passed proposals. The policy that emerges from this process is implemented. For some familiar classes of policy spaces with rich distributional politics, we show that the last proposer is effectively a dictator under a variety of natural conditions. Most notably, this occurs whenever a sufficient number of individuals have opportunities to make proposals. Thus, under reasonably general assumptions, control of the final proposal with real-time agenda setting confers as much power as control of the entire agenda.

Suggested Citation

Bernheim, B. Douglas and Rangel, Antonio and Rayo, Luis, Democratic Policy Making with Real-Time Agenda Setting: Part 1 (May 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w8973. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=314644

B. Douglas Bernheim (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-725-8732 (Phone)
650-725-5702 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Antonio Rangel

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Luis Rayo

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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