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The Economic Effects of Constitutions: Replicating – and Extending – Persson and Tabellini

Author

Listed:
  • Lorenz Blume
  • Jens Müller
  • Stefan Voigt
  • Carsten Wolf

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt & Carsten Wolf, 2007. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions: Replicating – and Extending – Persson and Tabellini," CESifo Working Paper Series 2017, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2017
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2017.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brennan, Geoffrey & Kliemt, Hartmut, 1994. "Finite Lives and Social Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 551-571.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rockey, James, 2012. "Reconsidering the fiscal effects of constitutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 313-323.
    2. Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2012. "The economic effects of federalism and decentralization—a cross-country assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 229-254, April.
    3. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    4. Hayo, Bernd & Voigt, Stefan, 2010. "Determinants of constitutional change: Why do countries change their form of government?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 283-305, September.
    5. Voigt, Stefan, 2009. "Explaining constitutional garrulity," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 290-303, December.
    6. Hayo, Bernd & Voigt, Stefan, 2013. "Endogenous constitutions: Politics and politicians matter, economic outcomes don’t," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 47-61.
    7. Simon Wigley & Arzu Akkoyunlu-Wigley, 2011. "Do electoral institutions have an impact on population health?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 595-610, September.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6913 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina, 2013. "Electoral rules, forms of government and redistributive policy: Evidence from agriculture and food policies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 141-158.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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