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Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States

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  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Persson, Torsten
  • Sturm, Daniel M

Abstract

One of the most cherished propositions in economics is that market competition by and large raises consumer welfare. But whether political competition has similarly virtuous consequences is far less discussed. This paper formulates a model to explain why political competition may enhance economic performance and uses the United States as a testing ground for the model's implications. It finds statistically robust evidence that political competition has quantitatively important effects on state income growth, state policies, and the quality of Governors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5138.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5138

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Keywords: economic growth; political competition; US south; voting restrictions;

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  1. Michele Polo, . "Electoral competition and political rents," Working Papers 144, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Gerardo Esquivel & Fernando Lefort, 1997. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 03, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Krusell, P. & Rios-Rull, J.V., 1993. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Papers 547, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  9. Wright, Gavin, 1999. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 267-289, June.
  10. Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-43, December.
  12. Wright, Gavin, 1987. "The Economic Revolution in the American South," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 161-78, Summer.
  13. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  14. George Stigler, 1972. "Economic competition and political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 91-106, September.
  15. 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.
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  1. Human Capital Follows the Thermometer
    by Edward L. Glaeser in Economix on 2011-04-19 06:00:00
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