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7 Eur. J. Econ. L. & Pol. 1 (2020)

handle is hein.journals/ejelp7 and id is 1 raw text is: 





      Equalizing Political Participation and, in turn,
      Political Influence with Civil Liability Rules


                          Sigmund   A.  Horvitz
                            Robert  M.  Nehs
                     Texas  Southern University, USA

Doi: 10.19044/elp.v7nolal      URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.19044/elp.v7nola1

Abstract
       Data reported by the authors in Section 1, below, suggest that elected
public officials in the U.S. are disproportionately responsive to the public
policy preferences of  their affluent constituents (Bartels, 2016, 253-254;
Gilens, 2012, 241). However,  these data do not exclude the possibility that
the public  policy positions of  these officials are driven by  their own
preferences which the affluent largely share because of shared backgrounds
(Bartels, 2016, 347). This possibility implies, therefore, that if legislators vote
their own preferences, then low income/less-well educated constituents could
acquire a proportionally equal share of political influence by participating to
elect representatives who share the voters' political preferences. Moreover,
this possibility inspires the authors' analysis in Section 6 of the use of civil
liability rules to equalize political participation rates which, in turn, could
equalize political influence rates if the policy makers' preferences align with
those of the voters.
In Section 2, the authors show that if the voters' participation rates determine
their influence rates then perfectly equal participation rates could imply
perfectly equal influence rates. In Section 3, the authors derive analytically
the ith voter's privately-optimal political participation rate (Pi*), while, in
Section 4, they derive analytically the socially-optimal participation rate (Ps*).
In Section 5, the authors obtain a numerical solution for Ps* using hypothetical
data and, in Section 6, in a case study, they analyze the use of civil liability
rules to incentivize the ith eligible voter to substitute Ps* for Pi* to induce
perfectly equal political participation rates and, in turn, by the argument of
Section 2, perfectly equal political influence rates. Section 7 is a conclusion.

Keywords:     Political  Participation,  Political  Influence,  Economic
Optimization, Civil Liability Rules.


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