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Do Rich Countries Choose Better Governments?

Author

Listed:
  • Azariadis Costas

    (UCLA)

  • Lahiri Amartya

    (UCLA)

Abstract

We analyze public investment in social infrastructure using a two-period model in which a government must intermediate all infrastructure investment. Voters choose a government from two alternative types, high quality and low quality. A high quality government obtains higher returns on infrastructure but also demands a bigger consumption payoff for intermediating investment, implying higher taxes for the voting public. We find that these intermediation costs cause threshold effects in the electoral process -- closed economies above a critical level of first period income elect high quality governments while economies below that level elect low quality ones. Thresholds vanish when voters can borrow abroad; capital mobility reduces the current consumption cost of infrastructure investment and favors better quality governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Azariadis Costas & Lahiri Amartya, 2002. "Do Rich Countries Choose Better Governments?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-39, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:contributions.2:y:2002:i:1:n:4
    DOI: 10.2202/1534-6005.1051
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysan, Ahmet Faruk, 2005. "The Role of Efficiency of Redistributive Institutions on Redistribution: An Empirical Assessment," MPRA Paper 17773, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ahmet Faruk AYSAN & Mustapha Kamel NABLI & Marie‐Ange VÉGANZONÈS‐VAROUDAKIS, 2007. "Governance Institutions And Private Investment: An Application To The Middle East And North Africa," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 45(3), pages 339-377, September.
    3. Marie-Ange VEGANZONES-VAROUDAKIS & NABLI & Ahmet Faruk AYSAN, 2006. "Governance and Private Investment in the Middle East and North Africa," Working Papers 200627, CERDI.

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