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The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies

Working Paper 582 | Published June 1, 1997

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Authors

photo of Larry E. Jones

Larry E. Jones Visiting Scholar

Ramon Marimon

The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies

Abstract

In U.S. elections, voters often vote for candidates from different parties for president and Congress. Voters also express dissatisfaction with the performance of Congress as a whole and satisfaction with their own representative. We develop a model of split-ticket voting in which government spending is financed by uniform taxes but the benefits from this spending are concentrated. While the model generates split-ticket voting, overall spending is too high only if the president’s powers are limited. Overall spending is too high in a parliamentary system, and our model can be used as the basis of an argument for term limits.


Published In: American Economic Review (Vol. 87, No. 5, December 1997, pp. 957-76)

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