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Comparative Politics and Public Finance

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  • Torsten Persson
  • Gerard Roland
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

We propose a model with micropolitical foundations to contrast different political regimes. Compared to a parliamentary regime, the institutions of a presidential-congressional regime produce fewer incentives for legislative cohesion but more separation of powers. These differences are reflected in the size and composition of government spending. A parliamentary regime has redistribution toward a majority, less underprovision of public goods, and more rents to politicians; a presidential-congressional regime has redistribution toward powerful minorities, more underprovision of public goods, but less rents to politicians. The size of government is smaller under a presidential regime. This last prediction is consistent with cross-country data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 108 (2000)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1121-1161

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:108:y:2000:i:6:p:1121-1161

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  1. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  3. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-76, December.
  4. Persson, Torsten, 1998. "Economic Policy and Special Interest Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 310-27, March.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  6. Daniel Diermeier & Timothy J. Feddersen, 1996. "Disciplined Coalitions and Redistribution: The Effect of the Vote of Confidence Procedure on Legislative Bargaining," Discussion Papers 1171, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L. Judd & Ehud Kalai, 1990. "Observable Contracts: Strategic Delegation and Cooperation," Discussion Papers 879, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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