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Endogenous Constitutions: Politics and Politicians Matter, Economic Outcomes Don’t

  • Bernd Hayo


    (Philipps University Marburg)

  • Stefan Voigt


    (University of Hamburg)

We study changes in the form of government as an example of endogenously determined constitutions. For a sample of 202 countries over the period 1950–2006, we find that most changes are relatively small and roughly equally likely to be either in the direction of more parliamentarian or more presidential systems. Based on a fixed effects ordered logit panel data model estimated over the period 1951–2000 for 146 countries, we find that such changes in the constitution can be explained by characteristics of the political system, internal and external political conflicts, and political leaders, whereas economic and socio-demographic variables do not matter.

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Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 201027.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201027
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik, 2008. "Endogenous Presidentialism," NBER Working Papers 14603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bernd Hayo & Stefan Voigt, 2010. "Determinants of Constitutional Change: Why do Countries Change their Form of Governments?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3087, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2002. "Endogenous constitutions," Economics Working Papers 896, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2005.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611, May.
  6. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Axel Dreher & Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Rupprecht & Frank Somogyi, 2006. "The impact of political leaders’ profession and education on reforms," KOF Working papers 06-147, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  8. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt & Carsten Wolf, 2009. "The economic effects of constitutions: replicating—and extending—Persson and Tabellini," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 197-225, April.
  9. 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, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  10. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
  11. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2006. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521855266, October.
  12. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
  13. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  14. repec:rwi:dpaper:0025 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
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