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The economic effects of constitutions: replicating—and extending—Persson and Tabellini

  • Lorenz Blume

    ()

  • Jens Müller
  • Stefan Voigt

    ()

  • Carsten Wolf

Persson and Tabellini (2003) show that presidential regimes and majoritarian election systems have important effects on fiscal policy, government effectiveness and productivity. Here, their dataset is extended in a number of ways: the number of countries included is increased from 85 to up to 116, and more recent data for both government effectiveness and productivity are used. In replicating and extending their analyses, we find that the effect of presidential regimes on all three groups of economic variables vanishes almost entirely. With regard to electoral systems, the original results are largely confirmed: majoritarian (as opposed to proportional) electoral systems lead to lower government expenditure, lower levels of rent seeking but also lower output per worker. The institutional details such as the proportion of candidates that are not elected via party lists and the district magnitude have proved to be of particular importance. The question whether societies can improve their lot by choosing specific constitutional rules remains open.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-008-9389-4
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 139 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 197-225

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:139:y:2009:i:1:p:197-225
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  1. Brennan, Geoffrey & Kliemt, Hartmut, 1994. "Finite Lives and Social Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 551-71.
  2. Charles B . Blankart & Gerrit B . Koester, 2006. "Political Economics versus Public Choice -super-* ," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 171-200, 05.
  3. Alessro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," Penn CARESS Working Papers b96440ba0bfa06ca550ac40aa, Penn Economics Department.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  5. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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