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Development of Direct Democracy in Swiss Cantons between 1997 and 2003

  • Fischer, Justina AV

This paper describes institutions of direct democracy between 1997 and 2003 in 26 Swiss cantons (states), specifically the statutory initiative and referendum, the constitutional initiative, and the fiscal referendum. In particular, it discusses their applications, but also the legal requirements for making use of them, including the signature requirements, the time available for their collection, and the financial thresholds. Optional and mandatory forms of these direct-legislative institutions are distinguished. This paper also provides calculations of the index and sub-indices of direct democracy for the additional years 1997 to 2003, in continuation of Stutzer (1999), using the identical methodology. Extending Trechsel and Serdült (1999) and Stutzer (1999) this paper includes the political institutions of the so-called Landsgemeinde cantons. Description of these institutions is based on the author’s reading of 26 cantonal constitutions in their versions between 1997 and 2003.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16140.

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Date of creation: 08 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16140
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  1. Anke Kessler, 2000. "Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse18_2000, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Shadbegian, Ronald J., 1999. "The Effect of Tax and Expenditure Limitations on the Revenue Structure of Local Government, 1962-87," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 221-38, June.
  3. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  4. Bjornskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV, 2008. "Formal Institutions and Subjective Well-Being: Revisiting the Cross-Country Evidence," MPRA Paper 20488, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Feb 2010.
  5. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness Prospers in Democracy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 79-102, March.
  6. Gordon Tullock, 1959. "Problems of Majority Voting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 571.
  7. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  8. Alois Stutzer, . "Demokratieindizes für die Kantone der Schweiz," IEW - Working Papers 023, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2008. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 379-397, December.
  11. Holcombe, Randall G, 1980. "An Empirical Test of the Median Voter Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 260-74, April.
  12. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, . "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," IEW - Working Papers 098, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Feld, Lars P. & Fischer, Justina A.V. & Kirchgaessner, Gebhard, 2007. "The Effect of Direct Democratic Institutions on Income Redistribution: Evidence for Switzerland," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 689, Stockholm School of Economics.
  14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  15. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2000. "Wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen der direkten Demokratie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 161-180, 05.
  16. Matsusaka, John G, 2000. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative in the First Half of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 619-50, October.
  17. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kiewiet, D Roderick & Szakaly, Kristin, 1996. "Constitutional Limitations on Borrowing: An Analysis of State Bonded Indebtedness," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 62-97, April.
  19. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgassner, 1999. "Public Debt and Budgetary Procedures: Top Down or Bottom Up? Some Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 151-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
  21. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2007. "The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Evidence for Swiss Students in Reading, Mathematics and Natural Science," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 688, Stockholm School of Economics.
  22. Volkerink, Bjorn & De Haan, Jakob, 2001. " Fragmented Government Effects on Fiscal Policy: New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 221-42, December.
  23. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Direct democracy and life satisfaction revisited: new evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 227-255, June.
  24. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2001. "On Government Centralization and Budget Referendums: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 615, CESifo Group Munich.
  25. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  26. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
  27. Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2000. "Did the property tax revolt affect local government wages and employment? Evidence from the States," Global Business and Economics Review, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 104-120.
  28. Lars P. Feld & John G. Matsusaka, 2000. "Budget Referendums and Government Spending: Evidence from Swiss," CESifo Working Paper Series 323, CESifo Group Munich.
  29. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
  30. Justina A.V. Fischer, 2005. "Do Institutions of Direct Democracy Tame the Leviathan? Swiss Evidence on the Structure of Expenditure for Public Education," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-22, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  31. Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2003. "Did the Property Tax Revolt Affect Local Public Education? Evidence From Panel Data," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(1), pages 91-121, January.
  32. Justina AV Fischer & Antonio Rodriguez-Andrés, 2008. "Political institutions and suicide: A regional analysis of Switzerland," TWI Research Paper Series 33, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  33. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
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