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Political Persistence, Connections and Economic Growth

  • Giorgio Bellettini

    (University of Bologna)

  • Carlotta Berti Ceroni

    (University of Bologna)

  • Giovanni Prarolo

    (University of Bologna)

Using data on a panel of 56 democratic countries in the period 1975-2004, we find evidence of a negative association between political stability and economic growth which is stronger and empirically more robust in countries with high bureaucratic costs. Motivated by these results, which contrast with previous contributions, we develop a model of growth with quality improvements where political connections with long-term politicians can be exploited by low-quality producers to defend their monopoly position and prevent innovation and entry of high-quality competitors. This requires that the incumbent politician remains in office and that the red-tape cost advantage granted by political connections is large relative to the quality upgrade related to innovation. Consistently with our empirical findings, the model delivers a negative association between the probability that the incumbent politician remains in office and average economic growth in the presence of high bureaucratic costs.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.107.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.107
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  1. Fabrizio Carmignani, 2003. "Political Instability, Uncertainty and Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 1-54, February.
  2. Giovanni S.F. Bruno, 2004. "Approximating the Bias of the LSDV Estimator for Dynamic Unbalanced Panel Data Models," KITeS Working Papers 159, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2004.
  3. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  4. Antonio Merlo & Vincenzo Galasso & Massimiliano Landi & Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "The Labor Market of Italian Politicians," Working Papers 15-2008, Singapore Management University, School of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
  5. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  6. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. " Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  7. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  9. Giovanni S.F. Bruno, 2005. "Estimation and inference in dynamic unbalanced panel data models with a small number of individuals," KITeS Working Papers 165, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jun 2005.
  10. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  11. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  14. MARA FACCIO & RONALD W. MASULIS & JOHN J. McCONNELL, 2006. "Political Connections and Corporate Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2597-2635, December.
  15. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
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