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Endogenous Constitutions

Author

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  • Ticchi, Davide

    () (Department of Economics, University of Urbino and University Pompeu Fabra)

  • Vindigni, Andrea

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

We present a theory of the choice of alternative democratic constitutions, a majoritarian or a consensual one, in a n unequal society. A majoritarian democracy redistributes resources from the collectivity toward relatively few people, and has a relatively small government and low level of taxation. A consensual democracy redistributes resources toward a broader spectrum of social groups but also have a larger government and a higher level of taxation. A consensual system turns out to be preferred by the society when ex ante income inequality is relatively low, while a majoritarian system is chosen when income inequality is relatively high. Moreover, we obtain that consensual democracies should be expected to be ruled more often by center-left coalitions. Finally, our model also provides a new rationale, based on the endogeneity of the political system, of the positive or absent (rather than negative) association between equality and redistribution transpiring from the cross-sectional evidence of developed countries presented in some recent studies. Some historical and empirical evidence supporting our results is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2003. "Endogenous Constitutions," Seminar Papers 726, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0726
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    Keywords

    Endogenous Constitutions; Consensual Democracy; Majoritarian Democracy; Inequality; Heterogeneity; Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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