The Differential Calculus of Consent
16 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2002
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).
Keywords: analysis of collective decisions, welfare economics
JEL Classification: D6, D7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation