Short Ballots: Why Mayors are in Charge of So Many Different Things

Brendan Andrew O'Flaherty
When the same group of voters want to have a number of different tasks performed, but can observe performance only imperfectly, the best way to do so is to bundle the tasks together and hold a single agent responsible for them all. Other methods are subject to manipulation. That's why municipalities elect mayors who are responsible for a large number of different functions, rather than separate commissioners for each different function.
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