Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/149372
Authors: 
Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M.
Maennig, Wolfgang
Steenbeck, Malte
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
Hamburg Contemporary Economic Discussions 54
Abstract: 
To assess the likely effects of population ageing on the outcomes of direct democracy, we analyze the effect of age on voting decisions in public referenda. To this end, we provide the first quantitative review of the literature and a case study of the Stuttgart 21 referendum on one of the largest infrastructure projects in Germany. The evidence suggests that intergenerational conflicts arising from population ageing will likely be limited to areas in which the net present value differs particularly strongly across generations, such as education and health spending, green energy, and major transport projects. In such instances, however, the effect can be quantitatively relevant, raising the question of whether, as population ageing progresses, decisions should be based on social cost-benefit analyses, instead of referenda.
Subjects: 
Aging
direct democracy
intergenerational conflict
NIMBY
referendum
Stuttgart 21
transport
voting
JEL: 
D61
D62
H41
H71
L83
I18
R41
R58
ISBN: 
978-3-942820-23-3
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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