IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Do Voters Dismantle Checks and Balances?

  • Ragnar Torvik

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Daron Acemoglu
  • James A. Robinson

Voters often dismantle constitutional checks and balances on the executive. If such checks and balances limit presidential abuses of power and rents, why do voters support their removal? We argue that by reducing politician rents, checks and balances also make it cheaper to bribe or ináuence politicians through non-electoral means. In weakly-institutionalized polities where such non-electoral ináuences, particularly by the better organized elite, are a major concern, voters may prefer a political system without checks and balances as a way of insulating politicians from these ináuences. When they do so, they are e§ectively accepting a certain amount of politician (presidential) rents in return for redistribution. We show that checks and balances are less likely to emerge when (equilibrium) politician rents are low; when the elite are better organized and are more likely to be able to ináuence or bribe politicians; and when inequality and potential taxes are high (which makes redistribution more valuable to the majority). We show that the main intuition, that checks and balances, by making politicians ìcheaper to bribe,î are potentially costly to the majority, is valid under di§erent ways of modeling the form of checks and balances.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iso/WP/2011/8_checksbalances.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 11711.

as
in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 24 Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:11711
Contact details of provider: Postal: 7491 Trondheim
Phone: 73 59 19 40
Fax: 73 59 69 54
Web page: http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iso/WP/wp.htm
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Li, Wei & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2002. "The Political Economy of Privatization and Competition: Cross-Country Evidence from the Telecommunications Sector," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 439-462, September.
  4. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2011. "A Political Theory of Populism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001179, David K. Levine.
  6. Daron Agemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2006. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 54, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5603, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Alfred Marshall Lecture: Kleptocracy and Divide-and-Rule: A Model of Personal Rule," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 162-192, 04/05.
  9. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 705-763, May.
  10. Eliana La Ferrara & Robert H. Bates, 2001. "Political Competition in Weak States," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 159-184, 07.
  11. Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:11711. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marit Balstad Jensen)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Marit Balstad Jensen to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.