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Political Persistence, Connections and Economic Growth

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  • Giorgio Bellettini
  • Carlotta Berti Ceroni
  • Giovanni Prarolo

Abstract

Using data on a panel of 56 democratic countries in the period 1975-2004, we find evidence of a negative association between political stability and economic growth which is stronger and empirically more robust in countries with high bureaucratic costs. Motivated by these results, which contrast with previous contributions, we develop a model of growth with quality improvements where political connections with long-term politicians can be exploited by low-quality producers to defend their monopoly position and prevent innovation and entry of high-quality competitors. This requires that the incumbent politician remains in office and that the red-tape cost advantage granted by political connections is large relative to the quality upgrade related to innovation. Consistently with our empirical findings, the model delivers a negative association between the probability that the incumbent politician remains in office and average economic growth in the presence of high bureaucratic costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2553.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2553

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Keywords: political persistence; growth; innovation;

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References

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  1. Giovanni S. F. Bruno, 2005. "Estimation and inference in dynamic unbalanced panel-data models with a small number of individuals," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(4), pages 473-500, December.
  2. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  3. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  4. Massimiliano Landi & Antonio Merlo & Vincenzo Galasso & Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "The Labor Market of Italian Politicians," Labor Economics Working Papers 22461, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Sule Ozler & Nouriel Roubini & Phillip Swagel, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Giovanni S.F. Bruno, 2004. "Approximating the Bias of the LSDV Estimator for Dynamic Unbalanced Panel Data Models," KITeS Working Papers 159, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2004.
  9. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  10. Fabrizio Carmignani, 2003. "Political Instability, Uncertainty and Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 1-54, February.
  11. MARA FACCIO & RONALD W. MASULIS & JOHN J. McCONNELL, 2006. "Political Connections and Corporate Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2597-2635, December.
  12. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  13. repec:chb:bcchwp:03 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  15. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Vincenzo Atella & Lorenzo Carbonari, 2013. "When Elders Rule:Is Gerontocracy Harmful for Growth?," CEIS Research Paper 263, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 08 Aug 2013.

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