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Vote-Buying And Growth

  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Mühe, Felix

Vote-buying is widely used by parties in developing countries to influence the outcome of elections. We examine the impact of vote-buying on growth. We consider a model with a poverty trap where redistribution can promote growth. We show that vote-buying contributes to the persistence of poverty as taxed wealthy people buy votes from poor people. We then show that there exists a democratic constitution that breaks vote-buying and promotes growth. Such a constitution involves rotating agenda setting, a taxpayer-protection rule, and repeated voting. The latter rule makes vote-buying prohibitively costly.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): 05 (November)
Pages: 656-680

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:15:y:2011:i:05:p:656-680_00
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  1. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 2003. "Incomplete Social Contracts," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 38-67, 03.
  2. Docquier, Frederic & Tarbalouti, Essaid, 2001. " Bribing Votes: A New Explanation to the "Inequality-Redistribution" Puzzle in LDCs," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(3-4), pages 259-72, September.
  3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Albero Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1957, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2008. "Vote Buying: General Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 351-380, 04.
  6. Costas Azariadis, 1996. "The Economics of Poverty Traps Part One: Complete Markets," Working Papers 9606, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  7. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  8. Dennis Mueller & Robert Tollison & Thomas Willett, 1972. "Representative democracy via random selection," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 57-68, March.
  9. Hans Gersbach, 2004. "Dividing resources by flexible majority rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 295-308, October.
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