We build a simple model to capture the major virtues and drawbacks of making public officials accountable (i. e., subjecting them to reelection): On the one hand, accountability allows the public to screen and discipline their officials; on the other, it may induce those officials to pander to public opinion and put too little weight on minority welfare. We study when decision-making powers should be allocated to the public directly (direct democracy), to accountable officials (called "politicians"), or to nonaccountable officials (called "judges").
Maskin, Eric, and Jean Tirole.
2004."The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government."American Economic Review,
94(4): 1034-1054.DOI: 10.1257/0002828042002606