Legislative Decision Making

  • Keith L. Dougherty
  • Julian Edward
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 20)


How many individuals must agree before a collective decision is imposed on a community? Buchanan and Tullock (1962) raised that question roughly fifty years ago and answered that it depends on how a community weighs decision costs and external costs. At the constitutional stage decision costs are less consequential. Hence, voting rules that produce Pareto superior and Pareto optimal outcomes (or just Pareto optimal outcomes) should be promoted. The only voting rule that could guarantee such results, and minimize external costs, is unanimity rule. At the legislative stage, the optimal k-majority rule may depend on both external costs and decision costs. With decision costs considered, the sum of decision costs and external costs might be minimized closer to majority rule.


Majority Rule Vote Rule External Cost Unanimity Rule Total Cost Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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