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Voting on Majority Rules
Review of Economic Studies (2004)
  • Mattias K Polborn
  • Matthias Messner, Bocconi University
We analyze an overlapping generations model of voting on ``reform projects''. These resemble investments in that they first require some investment expenditure and later pay off. Since the time during which old people get the benefit is shorter, or because older people are more wealthy and hence pay more taxes, they are more conservative (against reforms) than young people. We show that if people vote on which majority should be required in future elections for a bill to become a law, the winning proposal specifies a 3/4 majority. Surprisingly, this result is very robust even if age related conflict is only one determinant among others for voting behavior in this society.
Publication Date
January, 2004
Citation Information
Mattias K Polborn and Matthias Messner. "Voting on Majority Rules" Review of Economic Studies Vol. 71 Iss. 1 (2004)
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