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Political Selection

  • Timothy Besley

Almost every major episode of economic change over the past 200 years of political history has been associated with key personalities coming to power with a commitment to these changes. But if such dynamic leaders are so important, then we need to understand how they come to hold the reins of power. This outcome could be viewed as largely the product of random events colored by idiosyncratic personalities and chance encounters. However, at least some role must be given to the underlying institutional structure, which has a more systematic influence on who rises to the top. Thus, it is essential to understand how political selection works.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 43-60

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:19:y:2005:i:3:p:43-60
Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533005774357761
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  1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  2. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  3. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2006. "Businessman Candidates," Working Papers w0067, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  5. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  6. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2003. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin, 2004. "Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp733, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  9. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Persson, Torsten & Sturm, Daniel, 2006. "Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States," Discussion Papers in Economics 769, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality ofGovernment: Evidence from South India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  12. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  13. Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  14. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
  15. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  16. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Cooter, Robert D., 2002. "Who Gets On Top in Democracy? Elections as Filters," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt4q258892, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  18. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
  19. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
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