Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A democracia direta reduz o poder do grande capital

Does Direct Democracy Reduce Regulatory Capture?, por Samantha Eyler-Driscoll, no ProMarket blog (atenção que isto é um artigo de junho do ano passado):

To the great mortification of Switzerland’s domestic banking sector, on June 10 Swiss voters will head to the polls to decide on an initiative that could radically hobble local lending. TheVollgeld (sovereign money) Initiative has taken advantage of the country’s famously liberal system of referenda and popular initiatives—the former can be brought to a public vote with just 50,000 signatures to a petition launched by any citizen voter and the latter with 100,000—to propose a ban on fractional reserve banking and restrict money creation to the Swiss National Bank alone. Should the initiative pass, banks will no longer be allowed to expand the money supply electronically through lending—the origin of 90 percent of Switzerland’s current money supply. (...)

New research by John Matsusaka of the University of Southern California, however, suggests that the sequestering of economic policymaking from special interest influence may be precisely what direct democracy is for. His latest Stigler Center working paper works from theories of how regulatory capture operates on therepresentative institutions of democracy and seeks to answer the question: “Does special interest influence decline when policy is chosen using direct democracy?” More specifically, Matsusaka examines whether business interests are most often helped or hurt by the passage of state initiatives and referenda (I&R). (...)

Matsusaka uses data on all 2,548 US state-level initiatives from the period 1904–2017 and pulls out info on the three industries most often targeted by ballot measures—energy, finance, and tobacco—then classes them by whether they were pro- or anti-business (see Figure 1). Only 19 percent of the proposed initiatives were beneficial to industry interests, and only two percent of the initiatives were in fact adopted and worked in the industries’ favor. Pro-business initiatives that make it onto the ballot at all draw significantly fewer votes in favor (6.6 percent) than anti-business ones.

The ability of economic interest groups to influence policy is a common theme in economics and political science. Most theories posit that interest group power arises from the ability to influence elected or appointed government officials through vote-buying, lobbying, or revolving doors; that is, by exploiting the representative part of democracy. This raises the question: does special interest influence decline when policy is chosen using direct democracy, without involvement of representatives? An analysis of the content of the universe of state-level ballot initiatives during 1904-2017 reveals that business interests have been worse off as a result of initiatives across major industrial groups. An examination of all large contributions to ballot measure campaigns in California during 2000-2016 reveals that corporate and business interests were usually on the defensive with initiatives, and were much less likely to gain favorable legislation from citizen-initiated proposals than from proposals that originate in the legislature. The evidence suggests that economic interest groups have less influence under direct than representative democracy.
[Via Tyler Cowen]

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