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Konkordanz, Divided Government, und die Möglichkeit von Reformen

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  • Kirchgässner, Gebhard

    ()

Abstract

In Switzerland, political concordance or direct popular rights and the resulting consociational democracy are often held responsible for delay or even cancellation of necessary political reforms. Switzerland is, however, not the only country with such a system, and direct democracy is just one out of several mechanisms fostering political concordance. Moreover, as the examples of the United States and Germany show, a concordant political system might show up even if the government does not reflect this. Thus, we first describe different manifestations of political concordance. Then, we ask for institutional preconditions for successful political reforms before the situations in Switzerland and Germany are discussed more detailed. The experience of both countries shows that political concordance is not per se destructive for political reforms, it can even be conductive. This very much depends on the concrete institutional design of political concordance.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirchgässner, Gebhard, 2011. "Konkordanz, Divided Government, und die Möglichkeit von Reformen," Economics Working Paper Series 1125, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:25
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1125.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Hering, 2008. "Grand Coalitions for Unpopular Reforms: Building a Cross-Party Consensus to Raise the Retirement Age," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 233, McMaster University.
    2. Layard, R & Nickell, S, 1989. "The Thatcher Miracle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 215-219, May.
    3. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2003. "Die Rolle des Staates in privaten Governance Strukturen," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 253-285, September.
    4. Scherf, Wolfgang, 1998. "Mehr Gerechtigkeit und mehr Beschäftigung durch die Einkommensteuerreform?," Finanzwissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere 53, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften.
    5. Christoph A. Schaltegger & René L. Frey, 2003. "Finanzausgleich und Föderalismus: Zur Neugestaltung der föderalen Finanzbeziehungen am Beispiel der Schweiz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 239-258, May.
    6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    7. Feld Lars P. & Baskaran Thushyanthan, 2010. "Federalism, Budget Deficits and Public Debt: On the Reform of Germany's Fiscal Constitution," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 365-393, December.
    8. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2008. "Direct democracy: obstacle to reform?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 81-93, June.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander Wagner, 2000. "Korporatismus im europäischen Vergleich: Förderung makroökonomischer Rahmenbedingungen?," Economics working papers 2000-15, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Concordance; Consociational Democracy; Divided Government; Economic and Political Reforms; Westminster-System; Germany; Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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