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The Design of Political Institutions: Electoral Competition and the Choice of Ballot Access Restrictions in the United States

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  • Marcus Drometer

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  • Johannes Rincke

Abstract

Recent contributions to the political economics literature (Trebbi et al. 2007; Aghion et al. 2004) have challenged the view that political institutions are exogenous to the behaviour of agents in the political arena. We explicitly address the potential endogeneity of institutions by examining the link between the degree of electoral competition and the design of ballot access restrictions in the United States. Exploiting exogenous variation in electoral competition at the state level induced by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, our main finding is that restrictions to the entry of minor party and independent candidates have been systematically adjusted to changing degrees of electoral competition.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2406.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2406

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Keywords: political institutions; electoral competition; ballot access;

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  1. Drometer, Marcus & Rincke, Johannes, 2008. "The impact of ballot access restrictions on electoral competition: Evidence from a natural experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 2922, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," NBER Working Papers 6364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stratmann, Thomas, 2005. "Ballot access restrictions and candidate entry in elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 59-71, March.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  6. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  7. Besley, Timothy & Persson, Torsten & Sturm, Daniel, 2006. "Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States," Discussion Papers in Economics 769, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2005. "A Drawback Of Electoral Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1318-1348, December.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Drometer & Johannes Rincke, 2008. "The impact of ballot access restrictions on electoral competition: Evidence from a natural experiment," Working Papers 037, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

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