series: TI 03-067/1
Do Elections lead to Informed Public Decisions?
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Democracies delegate substantial decision power to politicians. Using a model in which an incumbent can design, examine and implement public policies, we show that examination takes place in spite of, rather than thanks to, elections. Elections are needed as a carrot and a stick to motivate politicians, yet politicians who are overly interested in re-election shy away from policy examination. Our analysis sheds light on the distance created in mature democracies between the political process and the production of policy relevant information; on the role played by probing into candidates' past; and on the possibility of crowding out desirable political behaviour by increasing the value of holding office.
- D78 : Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
- D72 : Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D82 : Asymmetric and Private Information
- vt +1