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Endogenous Presidentialism

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  • James A. Robinson
  • Ragnar Torvik

Abstract

We develop a model to understand the incidence of presidential and parliamentary institutions. Our analysis is predicated on two ideas: first, that minorities are relatively powerful in a parliamentary system compared to a presidential system, and second, that presidents have more power with respect to their own coalition than prime ministers do. These assumptions imply that while presidentialism has separation of powers, it does not necessarily have more checks and balances than parliamentarism. We show that presidentialism implies greater rent extraction and lower provision of public goods than parliamentarism. Moreover, political leaders who prefer presidentialism may be supported by their own coalition if they fear losing agenda setting power to another group. We argue that the model is consistent with a great deal of qualitative information about presidentialism in Africa and Latin America.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik, 2008. "Endogenous Presidentialism," NBER Working Papers 14603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14603
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    2. Guttorm Schjelderup, 2016. "Secrecy jurisdictions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 168-189, February.
    3. Tine Søreide, 2012. "Democracy's shortcomings in anti-corruption," CMI Working Papers 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    4. Hayo, Bernd & Voigt, Stefan, 2010. "Determinants of constitutional change: Why do countries change their form of government?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 283-305, September.
    5. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2013. "Oil and political survival," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 89-106.
    6. Daniel Diermeier & Pohan Fong, 2011. "Bargaining over the budget," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(3), pages 565-589, April.
    7. Hayo, Bernd & Voigt, Stefan, 2016. "Explaining constitutional change: The case of judicial independence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-13.
    8. Alvaro Forteza & Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro, 2017. "The Trade-off between Governance and Checks and Balances," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-06, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Diermeier, Daniel & Fong, Pohan, 2012. "Characterization of the von Neumann–Morgenstern stable set in a non-cooperative model of dynamic policy-making with a persistent agenda setter," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 349-353.
    10. Hayo, Bernd & Voigt, Stefan, 2013. "Endogenous constitutions: Politics and politicians matter, economic outcomes don’t," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 47-61.
    11. Philipp Harms & Claudia Landwehr, 2017. "Stabilized Branch-and-Price Algorithms for Vector Packing Problems," Working Papers 1719, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    12. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.
    13. Baland, Jean-Marie & Moene, Karl Ove & Robinson, James A., 2010. "Governance and Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    14. Joseph Keneck Massil, 2015. "Economie constitutionnelle en Afrique: analyse empirique du changement de l’article sur la limitation de mandat des présidents," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-33, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    15. Voigt, Stefan, 2011. "Empirical constitutional economics: Onward and upward?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 319-330.
    16. Karakas, Leyla D., 2016. "Political turnover and the accumulation of democratic capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 195-213.
    17. Daniel Diermeier & Pohan Fong, 2011. "Legislative Bargaining with Reconsideration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 947-985.
    18. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10657-015-9486-z is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:93-101 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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