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

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  • Marcus Drometer

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  • Johannes Rincke

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Drometer & Johannes Rincke, 2008. "The Design of Political Institutions: Electoral Competition and the Choice of Ballot Access Restrictions in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 2406, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2406
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
    3. 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.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611.
    5. 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.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    7. 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.
    8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    9. Stratmann, Thomas, 2005. "Ballot access restrictions and candidate entry in elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 59-71, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Madiha Afzal, 2014. "Do barriers to candidacy reduce political competition? Evidence from a bachelor’s degree requirement for legislators in Pakistan," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 51-72, October.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political institutions; electoral competition; ballot access;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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