Messner, M. and M. Polborn (2004), Voting on Majority Rules

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Has article title Voting on Majority Rules
Has author Messner, M. and M. Polborn
Has year 2004
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©, 2016

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Intergenerational Conflict

  • Voters born in continuous time and live for length 1
  • Deaths equal birth, so continuous mass
  • Some chance of reform opportunity
  • Reforms cost, c, yeild value v element of [0, [math]\infty[/math]]


  • At any given time, median voter will be happy with simply majority
  • However, median voter is only median for a split second, so if constitutional moment arises, he will choose super-majority
  • While median voter prefer voting rule of [math]r(t_{m})=2c[/math] for a current project, he prefers [math]r(t_{m})=4c[/math] to decide on all future projects.
  • rule of [math]r(t_{m})=4c[/math] corresponds to [math]t_{s}=\frac{3}{4}\gt \frac{1}{2}[/math]
  • If we focus on welfare of all future generations obviously [math]t_{c}=\frac{1}{2}[/math]
  • If we focus on welfare of all those currently alive [math]t_{c}=\frac{2}{3}[/math]