Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Why Do Voters Dismantle Checks and Balances?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Daron Acemoglu
  • James A. Robinson
  • Ragnar Torvik

Abstract

Voters often dismantle constitutional checks and balances on the executive. If such checks and balances limit presidential abuses of power and rents, why do voters support their removal? We argue that by reducing politician rents, checks and balances also make it cheaper to bribe or influence politicians through non-electoral means. In weakly institutionalized polities where such non-electoral influences, particularly by the better organized elite, are a major concern, voters may prefer a political system without checks and balances as a way of insulating politicians from these influences. When they do so, they are effectively accepting a certain amount of politician (presidential) rents in return for redistribution. We show that checks and balances are less likely to emerge when the elite is better organized and is more likely to be able to influence or bribe politicians, and when inequality and potential taxes are high (which makes redistribution more valuable to the majority). We also provide case study evidence from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela consistent with the model. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdt007
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 80 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 845-875

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:3:p:845-875

Contact details of provider:

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2007. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," Working Papers, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini 0707, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2007.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Alfred Marshall Lecture: Kleptocracy and Divide-and-Rule: A Model of Personal Rule," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 162-192, 04/05.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2011. "A Political Theory of Populism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001179, David K. Levine.
  5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Li, Wei & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2002. "The Political Economy of Privatization and Competition: Cross-Country Evidence from the Telecommunications Sector," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 439-462, September.
  7. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," NBER Working Papers 12108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
  10. Eliana La Ferrara & Robert H. Bates, 2001. "Political Competition in Weak States," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 159-184, 07.
  11. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 705-763, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Paradoxes of democracy in LA
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-02-16 02:01:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Xavier Debrun & Tidiane Kinda, 2014. "Strengthening Post-Crisis Fiscal Credibility: Fiscal Councils on the Rise — A New Dataset," IMF Working Papers, International Monetary Fund 14/58, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2012. "From Collapse to Constitution: The Case of Iceland," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 3770, CESifo Group Munich.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:3:p:845-875. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.