A direct test of direct democracy: New England town meetings
Abbreviated Journal Title
median voter; direct democracy; representative democracy; revealed; preference; MEDIAN VOTER MODEL; GOVERNMENTS; CHOICE; DEMAND; Economics
Representative democracies govern most locales in the US, making it difficult to compare performance relative to direct democracy. New England states, however, provide an opportunity to test both direct and representative democracy at the local level. This article uses revealed preference axioms to compare spending patterns in New England towns and cities against median voter hypothesis benchmarks. Contrary to previous evidence, we find no differences between direct and representative democracy. The results suggest that horizontal competition arising from local fragmentation minimize differences between direct and representative local government, providing support for wider applicability of median voter-based empirical models of local government behaviour in the US.
"A direct test of direct democracy: New England town meetings" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 3239.