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Endogenous constitutions

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  • Davide Ticchi
  • Andrea Vindigni

Abstract

We present a theory of the choice of alternative democratic constitutions, a majoritarian or a consensual one, in an unequal society. A majoritarian democracy redistributes resources from the collectivity toward relatively few people, and has a relatively small government and low level of taxation. A consensual democracy redistributes resources toward a broader spectrum of social groups but also has a larger government and a higher level of taxation. We show that a consensual system turns out to be preferred by society when ex ante income inequality is relatively low, while a majoritarian system is chosen when income inequality is relatively high. We also obtain that consensual democracies should be expected to be ruled more often by center-left coalitions while the right should have an advantage in majoritarian constitutions. The implications for the relationship between inequality and redistribution are discussed. Historical evidence and a cross-sectional analysis support our results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 896.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision: Sep 2005
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:896

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Endogenous constitutions; consensual democracy; majoritarian democracy; inequality;

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