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: Suggested Citation