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Political turnover and the accumulation of democratic capital

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  • Karakas, Leyla D.

Abstract

Certain democratic institutions tend to persist in some countries whereas they are frequently reversed in others. Focusing on strong constraints on executive power as one such institution, this paper theoretically studies the cross-country differences in the costs of relaxing these constraints. The model features two political parties that stochastically alternate in office according to a political uncertainty parameter. In each period, the incumbent can make reversible investments into the future government's ability to reform executive constraints. The main results indicate that more competitive elections and higher degrees of policy polarization between the political parties lead to high and persistent levels of investment into the society's stock of “democratic capital”. These higher costs of institutional reform in turn result in durable strong executive constraint-regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Karakas, Leyla D., 2016. "Political turnover and the accumulation of democratic capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 195-213.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:44:y:2016:i:c:p:195-213
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.07.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:93-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:exehis:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:37-70 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous political institutions; Executive constraints; Institutional Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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