Bilaterally Qualified Majority: A Calculus of Consent Model of Repeal

30 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2018 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019

Date Written: November 6, 2018


In The Calculus of Consent, Buchanan and Tullock evaluate qualified/super-majority rules as a means of minimizing the total costs of collective action. However, they consider only a single decision-making rule for both passing and repealing policy. In fact, the costs of collective action may be further reduced by instituting different rules for passage and repeal. Thus, combining super-majority with a special repeal rule reduces the costs of collective action more than super-majority alone and mitigates some of the shortcomings of super-majority highlighted by critics. This combination of qualified majority with special repeal is referred to as “bilaterally qualified majority.” One example of such a special repeal rule is a sunsetting rule. In addition, this model helps explain why the U.S. Supreme Court applies different standards of scrutiny to different kinds of policy, making it easier to declare some kinds of policies unconstitutional than others.

Keywords: calculus of consent, voting, repeal, judicial review, sunsetting

JEL Classification: D72, K00

Suggested Citation

Makovi, Michael, Bilaterally Qualified Majority: A Calculus of Consent Model of Repeal (November 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Michael Makovi (Contact Author)

Northwood University ( email )

4000 Whiting Dr
Midland, MI MI 48640
United States
48611 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics