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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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/089533005774357761
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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. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  3. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  4. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  5. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
  6. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel.M Sturm, 2005. "Political competition and economic performance: theory and evidence from the United States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3770, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing with Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208.
  8. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2006. "Businessman Candidates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
  10. 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.
  11. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
  12. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  13. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Besley, Timothy J. & Pande, Rohini & Rao, Vijayendra, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality of Government: Evidence from South India," CEPR Discussion Papers 5201, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. 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.
  16. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
  17. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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