An informational role of supermajority rules in monitoring the majority party's activities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There often exists a supermajority rule that enables the minority party to delay or prevent a vote on a bill. I construct a two-period model consisting of a representative voter, self-interested parties, and a media outlet. In the model, the majority party has an incentive to misrepresent the voter's optimal policy. I show that the minority party's attempt to block a vote (e.g., a filibuster) can signal this misrepresentation. Interestingly, the key is that the minority party and the mass media are complementary in creating the signal. Overall, the results suggest that supermajority rules could be beneficial even for the majority of voters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-196
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Public Economic Theory
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • legislative bargaining
  • media capture
  • multiple monitors
  • political agency
  • supermajority

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