The Delegation Perspective on Representative Democracy
Why do political constituencies delegate decision power to representative assemblies? And how is the size of such assemblies determined? We analyze these questions of constitutional design in a model with voters learning their preferred alternative only after engaging in costly information gathering. We show that there is an optimal assembly size that would be chosen at a constitutional stage. This implies a relationship between assembly and constituency size. We then compared this relationship to actual data. Fitting a single parameter to the data, we show that our model can explain the actual relationship between assembly and constituency size quite well.
Constitutional Design, Representative Democracy, Parliament Size, Information Costs
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