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Political Selection

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  • Timothy Besley

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:19:y:2005:i:3:p:43-60
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533005774357761
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/089533005774357761
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Konstantin Sonin & Scott Gehlbach, 2004. "Businessman Candidates," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 178, Econometric Society.
    3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
    4. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
    7. Besley, Timothy J. & Persson, Torsten & Sturm, Daniel M, 2005. "Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 5138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
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    10. 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.
    11. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Qualilty of Government: Evidence from South India," Working Papers 921, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    16. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    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. 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.
    19. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
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