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Where Does Economic Development Really Come From? Constitutional Rule among the Contemporary Sioux and Apache


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  • Cornell, Stephen
  • Kalt, Joseph P
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    Governments are public goods that provide the organizational and legal structures by which societies arrange and enforce 'rules of the game' that enable divisions of labor, exchange, and collective action. The authors argue that shared, preconstitutional cultural norms of political legitimacy among rational individuals provide the foundations of effective self-government. The performance of contemporary Apache and Sioux economies on Indian reservations governed by common federally imposed constitutions is examined to test the framework. Unlike the impoverished Sioux, the relatively successful Apaches are found to have preexisting political norms that (serendipidously) match the structure of their formal constitution. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

    Volume (Year): 33 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 402-26

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:402-26

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    Cited by:
    1. Daniel Berkowitz & Karen Clay, . "Initial Conditions, Institutional Dynamics and Economic Performance: Evidence from the American States," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1083, American Law & Economics Association.
    2. Cornell, Stephen & Kalt, Joseph P., 2003. "Alaska Native Self-Government and Service Delivery: What Works?," Working Paper Series rwp03-042, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Kalt, Joseph P. & Singer, Joseph William, 2004. "Myths and Realities of Tribal Sovereignty: The Law and Economics of Indian Self-Rule," Working Paper Series rwp04-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Watson, Tara, 2006. "Public health investments and the infant mortality gap: Evidence from federal sanitation interventions on U.S. Indian reservations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1537-1560, September.


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