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Private Investment and Political Institutions


  • David Stasavage


Recent research has demonstrated a negative link between macroeconomic and political uncertainty and levels of private investment across countries. This raises the question whether certain types of government institutions might help reduce this uncertainty. North and Weingast (1989) propose that political institutions characterized by checks and balances can have beneficial effects on investment by allowing governments to credibly commit not to engage in ex post opportunism with respect to investors. In this paper I develop and test a modified version of their hypothesis, suggesting that checks and balances, on average, improve possibilities for commitment, but that they are not a necessary condition for doing so. Results of heteroskedastic regression and quantile regression estimates strongly support this proposition. Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • David Stasavage, 2002. "Private Investment and Political Institutions," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 41-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:14:y:2002:p:41-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
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    5. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
    6. Theodore C. Bergstrom & Hal R. Varian, 1985. "When Are Nash Equilibria Independent of the Distribution of Agents' Characteristics?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 715-718.
    7. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
    8. Panagariya, Arvind & Rodrik, Dani, 1993. "Political-Economy Arguments for a Uniform Tariff," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 685-703, August.
    9. Long, Ngo Van & Soubeyran, Antoine, 1996. "Lobbying for protection by heterogeneous firms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 19-32, April.
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