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Constitutions and Economic Development: Evidence from the American Indian Nations

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Author Info

  • Akee, Randall K. Q.

    ()
    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Jorgensen, Miriam

    ()
    (University of Arizona)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    ()
    (University of Munich)

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical examination of economic and institutional development. Utilizing a novel data set on American Indian tribal nations, we investigate how constitutional design affects economic development, while holding the broader legal and political environment fixed. Instrumental variables regressions, using the party of the US President at the time of the initial adoption of tribal constitutions as an instrument for constitutional design, indicate that parliamentary systems (versus presidential) have a strong positive effect on economic development, while ordinary least squares regressions of current economic outcomes on parliamentary systems of government show no effects. Robustness checks suggest that the results are not explained by differences in other institutions or geographic characteristics. Additional results provide some suggestive evidence that the effects may operate through channels that are typically associated with parliamentary systems, such as larger public employment, and more equitable income distribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6754.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6754

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Keywords: economic development; constitutional design; political economy;

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  1. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," NBER Working Papers 14906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "Direct versus Indirect Colonial Rule in India: Long-term Consequences," Harvard Business School Working Papers 05-041, Harvard Business School, revised Nov 2008.
  3. James E. Alt & David D. Lassen, 2008. "Political And Judicial Checks On Corruption: Evidence From American State Governments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 33-61, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Donna Feir, 2013. "The Long Term Effects of Forcible Assimilation Policy: The Case of Indian Boarding Schools," Department Discussion Papers 1301, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.

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