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An economic model of representative democracy

Besley, Timothy and Coate, Stephen (1997) An economic model of representative democracy. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112 (1). pp. 85-114. ISSN 0033-5533

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Identification Number: 10.1162/003355397555136


This paper develops an approach to the study of democratic policy-making where politicians are selected by the people from those citizens who present themselves as candidates for public office. The approach has a number of attractive features. First, it is a conceptualization of a pure form of representative democracy in which government is by, as well as of, the people. Second, the model is analytically tractable, being able to handle multidimensional issue and policy spaces very naturally. Third, it provides a vehicle for answering normative questions about the performance of representative democracy.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 1997 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 18 May 2024 18:15

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