The Differential Calculus of Consent
University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna
University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Vol. 20, No. 2-3, 2002
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 02-18
Existing treatments of the choice of an optimal voting rule ignore the effects of the rule on political bargaining.
Specifically, more stringent majority requirements reduce intra-coalitional free riding in political compromise, leading to greater gains from political trade. Once this benefit of increasing the vote share necessary to enact a proposal is recognized, we suggest that the optimal voting rule in the presence of transactions costs will actually be closer to unanimity than the optimal majority derived by Buchanan and Tullock (1962).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: analysis of collective decisions, welfare economics
JEL Classification: D6, D7
Date posted: June 20, 2002