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Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues

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  • Antonio Merlo

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss recent developments in political economy. By focusing on the microeconomic side of the discipline, I present an overview of current research on four of the fundamental institutions of a political economy: voters, politicians, parties and governments. For each of these topics, I identify and discuss some of the salient questions that have been posed and addressed in the literature, present some stylized models and examples, and summarize the main theoretical findings. Furthermore, I describe the available data, review the relevant empirical evidence, and discuss some of the challenges for empirical research in political economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-033
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    File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/05-033.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2015. "Mediocracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 32-44.
    2. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections, Fourth Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2007.
    3. Catia Batista & Pedro C. Vicente, 2011. "Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 77-104, May.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2011. "Family Ties And Political Participation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 817-839, October.
    5. Marcos Chamon & João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Sergio Firpo, 2008. "Electoral rules, political competition and fiscal spending : regression discontinuity evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 559, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    6. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, April.
    7. Ming Li & Dipjyoti Majumdar, 2010. "A Psychologically Based Model of Voter Turnout," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(5), pages 979-1002, October.
    8. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely? Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 03 Jan 2007.
    9. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    10. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2013. "Employment, Wages, and Voter Turnout," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 111-143, October.
    11. Maria Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 547-559, September.
    12. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "The Transparency of Politics and the Quality of Politicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 311-315.
    13. Eric Weese, 2011. "Political Mergers as Coalition Formation," Working Papers 997, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    14. Antonio Merlo & Vincenzo Galasso & Massimiliano Landi & Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "the Labor Market of Italian Politicians, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-024, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 May 2009.
    15. Daniel Ladley & James Rockey, 2010. "Party Formation and Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/17, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    16. Michael P. Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2010. "Money, Political Ambition, and the Career Decisions of Politicians," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 186-215.
    17. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Ideologically?, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2008.
    18. Cesar Martinelli, 2006. "Elections as Targeting Contests," Working Papers 0601, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM, revised Mar 2006.
    19. Chamon, Marcos & de Mello, João M. P. & Firpo, Sergio, 2009. "Electoral Rules, Political Competition and Fiscal Expenditures: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Brazilian Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 4658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Toshihiro Ihori & C. Yang, 2012. "Laffer paradox, Leviathan, and political contest," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 137-148, April.
    21. Hannes Mueller, 2007. "Political Support and Candidate Choice," JEPS Working Papers 07-002, JEPS.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    microeconomics of political economy; voters; politicians; parties; governments;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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