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The economic effects of direct democracy: A cross-country assessment

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  • Voigt, Stefan

Abstract

This is the first study that assesses the economic effects of direct democratic institutions on a cross country basis. Most of the results of the former intra-country studies could be confirmed. On the basis of some 30 countries, a higher degree of direct democracy leads to lower total government expenditure (albeit insignificantly) but also to higher central government revenue. Central government budget deficits are lower in countries using direct democratic institutions. As former intra-country studies, we also find that government effectiveness is higher under strong direct-democratic institutions and corruption lower. Both labor and total factor productivity are significantly higher in countries with direct democratic institutions. The low number of observations as well as the very general nature of the variable used to proxy for direct democracy clearly call for a more fine-grained analysis of the issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Voigt, Stefan, 2006. "The economic effects of direct democracy: A cross-country assessment," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 84, University of Kassel, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kasvdb:84
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    Cited by:

    1. Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros & Kyriazis, Nicholas, 2015. "The Aetolians, the Europeans and the Pakistanis: Lessons for modern federations," MPRA Paper 62974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros & Kyriazis, Nicholas & Metaxas, Theodore, 2015. "The Themistocles Naval Decree of 483/2 BCE and the Greek Referendum of 2015: A comparative analysis of choice set under direct democracy procedures," MPRA Paper 76421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Blume Lorenz & Döring Thomas & Voigt Stefan, 2008. "Fiskalische Effekte der Kommunalverfassungsreformen der 1990er Jahre in Deutschland / Reforming Local Constitutions in Germany during the 1990s – Their Fiscal Effects," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(4), pages 317-344, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H8 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues

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