DP6497 Vote-share Contracts and Democracy

Author(s): Hans Gersbach
Publication Date: September 2007
Keyword(s): elections, political contracts, vote-share thresholds
JEL(s): D7, D82, H4
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6497

In this paper we introduce vote-share contracts. Such contracts contain a vote-share threshold that incumbents must reach in order to be reelected. In a simple model, we illustrate the working of vote-share contracts. Such vote-share contracts curb socially detrimental incumbency advantages by improving the average ability level of re-elected politicians and also increase effort. We show that the socially optimal vote-share threshold for incumbents is larger than one half. Competing candidates offer vote-share contracts with socially optimal thresholds.