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Determinants of Direct Democracy

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  • Nadia Fiorino
  • Roberto Ricciuti

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates on the demographic, economic, political and cultural determinants of direct democracy in 87 countries using an index of direct democracy. The test is interesting since there are important variations across these countries in the referendum and initiative use. We apply a number of estimation techniques. We find that per capita income, education and a larger share of Catholic population are positive determinants, whereas ethnic fractionalization is depending on the estimation technique. Political rights and stability also work as prerequisites to direct democracy. Direct democracy seems independent from the institutional structure.

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    File URL: http://www.icer.it/docs/wp2007/ICERwp23-07.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 23-2007.

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    Length: pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:23-2007

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    Related research

    Keywords: direct democracy; comparative politics; referendum;

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    1. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
    2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details," CESifo Working Paper Series 1672, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
    4. Frey, Bruno S & Kucher, Marcel & Stutzer, Alois, 2001. " Outcome, Process and Power in Direct Democracy: New Econometric Results," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(3-4), pages 271-93, June.
    5. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
    6. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
    7. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "The impact of voter initiatives on economic activity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 207-226, March.
    8. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
    9. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-48, October.
    11. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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