The Transnational Origins of Constituions: Evidence From a New Global Data Set On Constitional Rights
AbstractAbstract Constitutions are commonly described as national products shaped by domestic politics. This paper develops and empirically tests a different hypothesis, which is that constitutions are also shaped by transnational influence, or “diffusion”. Constitutional rights can diffuse through four mechanisms: coercion, competition, learning and acculturation. To test diffusion, we traced the historical documents of all post-WWII constitutions and documented the presence of 108 constitutional rights. Using a sample of these rights in 180 countries between 1948 and 2001, we estimate a spatial lag model to explain their adoption. Our results show that countries follow the choices of their former colonizer, countries with the same legal origin, the same religion, the same former colonizer, and the same aid donor. We also find that diffusion explains only 3 percent of the variation in adoption. However, when a country adopts its first constitution, diffusion is much stronger and explains 46 percent of the variation.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2013-010.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
constitutions; diffusion; human rights; spatial econometrics;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K19 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Other
- C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-03-02 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-GEO-2013-03-02 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-LAW-2013-03-02 (Law & Economics)
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.:
- Besley, T. & Case, A., 1994.
"Diffusion as a Learning Process: Evidence from HYV Cotton,"
174, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Diffusion as a Learning Process: Evidence from HYV Cotton," Working Papers 228, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Jensen, Nathan M., 2003. "Democratic Governance and Multinational Corporations: Political Regimes and Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(03), pages 587-616, June.
- Heckman, James, 2013.
"Sample selection bias as a specification error,"
Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Busse, Matthias & Hefeker, Carsten, 2007.
"Political risk, institutions and foreign direct investment,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 397-415, June.
- Hefeker, Carsten & Busse, Matthias, 2005. "Political Risk, Institutions and Foreign Direct Investment," HWWA Discussion Papers 315, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
- Figlio, David N. & Kolpin, Van W. & Reid, William E., 1999. "Do States Play Welfare Games?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 437-454, November.
- Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000.
" Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
- Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Thomas Cornelissen, 2008. "The Stata command felsdvreg to fit a linear model with two high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 170-189, June.
- Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
- Farber, Daniel A, 2002. "Rights as Signals," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 83-98, January.
- Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede & Ward, Michael D., 2006. "Diffusion and the International Context of Democratization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 911-933, October.
- Simmons, Beth A. & Dobbin, Frank & Garrett, Geoffrey, 2006. "Introduction: The International Diffusion of Liberalism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 781-810, October.
- McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2005.
"Which Countries Have State Religions?,"
3710663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2009. "Testing the neocon agenda: Democracy in resource-rich societies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 293-308, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Broekman).
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.