DP17614 Republic or Democracy? Co-voting!
We analyze a new constitutional decision-making rule—called ”Co-Voting”—which can be described as a combination of representative democracy (or republic, where citizens delegate their decision power to a parliament) and direct democracy (or just democracy, where citizens decide through referenda). We consider a simple model in which the electorate is partially
uninformed about the consequences of policies and parliament members have biased preferences regarding policy. Taking a constitutional perspective, we characterize the model primitives for which Co-Voting yields higher welfare than both direct democracy and representative democracy, which are natural benchmarks. The relative merits of Co-Voting continue to hold if proposal-making by parliament is strategic.