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Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes

  • Torsten Persson
  • Guido Tabellini

We investigate the effect of electoral rules and forms of government on fiscal policy outcomes in a large sample of democracies. We rely on different estimation methods to address prospective problems of statistical inference, due to nonrandom selection of these constitutional rules. The findings are consistent with our theoretical priors: presidential regimes induce smaller governments than parliamentary democracies, while majoritarian elections lead to smaller governments and smaller welfare programs than proportional elections.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282804322970689
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/march2004_tabellini_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 25-45

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:1:p:25-45
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282804322970689
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  1. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
  2. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  5. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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