Public Choice

, Volume 129, Issue 3–4, pp 435–460 | Cite as

Do elections lead to informed public decisions?

  • Otto H. Swank
  • Bauke VisserEmail author
Original Article


Democracies delegate substantial decision power to politicians. We analyse a model in which the electorate wants an office-motivated incumbent to design, examine and implement public policies. We show that voters can always encourage politicians to design projects. However, they cannot always induce politicians to examine projects. In fact, politicians who would examine policies without elections, say because of a concern about the public interest, may shy away from policy examination with elections.


Democracy Policy examination Multiple tasks Information Elections 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen InstituteRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Economics, H 7 – 20Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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