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The Design of Political Institutions: Electoral Competition and the Choice of Ballot Access Restrictions in the United States

  • Marcus Drometer

    ()

  • Johannes Rincke

Recent contributions to the political economics literature (Trebbi et al. 2007; Aghion et al. 2004) have challenged the view that political institutions are exogenous to the behaviour of agents in the political arena. We explicitly address the potential endogeneity of institutions by examining the link between the degree of electoral competition and the design of ballot access restrictions in the United States. Exploiting exogenous variation in electoral competition at the state level induced by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, our main finding is that restrictions to the entry of minor party and independent candidates have been systematically adjusted to changing degrees of electoral competition.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2406.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2406
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2005. "A Drawback Of Electoral Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1318-1348, December.
  3. Stratmann, Thomas, 2005. "Ballot access restrictions and candidate entry in elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 59-71, March.
  4. Rodrik, Dani, 1998. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 1776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  6. Marcus Drometer & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "The impact of ballot access restrictions on electoral competition: evidence from a natural experiment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 461-474, March.
  7. Besley, Timothy J. & Persson, Torsten & Sturm, Daniel M, 2005. "Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 5138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Philippe Aghion & Albero Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1957, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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