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In her new book The Price of Democracy: How Money Shapes Politics and What to Do About It and in this Stigler Center lecture, Sciences Po professor Julia Cagé discusses the link between the funding of political parties and the crisis of representation. 

In recent years, public funding for campaign expenditures has dropped and the relevance of private donations has increased. Cagé proposes an alternative funding system she calls Democratic Equality Vouchers: Every year, each citizen can choose to allocate an equal amount to the political movement of their choice. When citizens do not allocate their voucher, it is allocated depending on the last legislative election results.

Watch the video of Cagé’s lecture and her conversation with Columbia professor Andrea Prat, moderated by Chicago Booth professor Guy Rolnik.

You can also download the full slide deck here.

On Julia Cagé

Julia Cagé is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Sciences Po in Paris, the co-director of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP)’s “Evaluation of Democracy” research group, and a Research Affiliate of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Her third book, Le prix de la démocratie (Paris, Fayard, 2018), was awarded a “Prix Ethique” by Anticor, an association that combats corruption and helps restore ethics in politics, and the 8th edition of the “Prix Pétrarque de l’Essai France Culture-Le Monde. It will be coming to an anglophone audience this spring as The Price of Democracy: How Money Shapes Politics and What to Do About It (Harvard UP, March 2020, translation by Patrick Camiller).

On Andrea Prat

Andrea Prat is the Richard Paul Richman Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics, Columbia University. His work focuses on organizational economics and political economy. His current research in organizational economics issues such as incentive provision, corporate leadership, employee motivation, and organizational language. He is a principal investigator of the Executive Time Use Project. His current research in political economy attempts to define and measure the influence of the media industry on the democratic process. He has been published in leading economics and finance journals, is an Associate Editor of Theoretical Economics, and a director of the Industrial Organization program of the Center for Economic Policy Research in London. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2011 and a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 2013.

On Guy Rolnik

Guy Rolnik (moderator) is a clinical associate professor of strategic management at Chicago Booth and co-organizer of the Stigler Center Antitrust and Competition Conference. For the last 28 years, he has lived and worked at the intersection of business, finance, regulation, politics, and the media. First, as a financial journalist and editor, later as a business entrepreneur and founder of a media company, and in the last decade as a policy entrepreneur—using media as a tool for driving structural reforms in the economy. Rolnik’s work as a founder and chief editor of a leading business newspaper and columnist influenced in a dramatic way the ideas, norms, and values in Israel’s political economy and brought about significant changes in regulatory policies and legislation. In this process, he has gained a unique understanding of the interplay of the three worlds: business, regulation, and media.

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