Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

An experimental investigation of electoral delegation and the provision of public goods


Hamman, John R; Weber, Roberto A; Woon, Jonathan (2011). An experimental investigation of electoral delegation and the provision of public goods. American Journal of Political Science, 55(4):738-752.

Abstract

How effectively do democratic institutions provide public goods? Despite the incentives an elected leader has to free ride or impose majority tyranny, our experiment demonstrates that electoral delegation results in full provision of the public good. Analysis of the experimental data suggests that the result is primarily due to electoral selection: groups elect prosocial leaders and replace those who do not implement full contribution outcomes. However, we also observe outcomes in which a minimum winning coalition exploits the contributions of the remaining players. A second experiment demonstrates that when electoral delegation must be endogenously implemented, individuals voluntarily cede authority to an elected agent only when preplay communication is permitted. Our combined results demonstrate that democratic delegation helps groups overcome the free-rider problem and generally leads to outcomes that are often both efficient and equitable.

Abstract

How effectively do democratic institutions provide public goods? Despite the incentives an elected leader has to free ride or impose majority tyranny, our experiment demonstrates that electoral delegation results in full provision of the public good. Analysis of the experimental data suggests that the result is primarily due to electoral selection: groups elect prosocial leaders and replace those who do not implement full contribution outcomes. However, we also observe outcomes in which a minimum winning coalition exploits the contributions of the remaining players. A second experiment demonstrates that when electoral delegation must be endogenously implemented, individuals voluntarily cede authority to an elected agent only when preplay communication is permitted. Our combined results demonstrate that democratic delegation helps groups overcome the free-rider problem and generally leads to outcomes that are often both efficient and equitable.

Statistics

Citations

32 citations in Web of Science®
36 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:21 Dec 2011 10:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:17
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0092-5853
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2011.00531.x

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher