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Outcome, Process & Power in Direct Democracy

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Marcel Kucher
  • Alois Stutzer

Based on survey data for Switzerland, new empirical findings on direct democracy are presented. In the first part, we show that, on average, public employees receive lower financial compensation under more direct democratic institutions. However, top bureaucrats are more constrained in direct democracies and have to be compensated by higher wages for that loss of power. In the second part, we demonstrate that reported subjective well-being of the population is much higher in jurisdictions with stronger direct democratic rights. This is not only the case because people value political outcomes higher but they derive utility from the political process itself.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 025.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:025
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  1. Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct Democracy: Politico-economic Lessons from Swiss Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 338-42, May.
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  4. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
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  7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692 Elsevier.
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  11. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
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  19. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  20. Alois Stutzer, . "Demokratieindizes für die Kantone der Schweiz," IEW - Working Papers 023, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  21. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct-Democratic Rules: The Role of Discussion," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 341-54.
  22. Rexford Santerre, 1989. "Representative versus direct democracy: Are there any expenditure differences?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 145-154, February.
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  24. 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.
  25. Jong-Il Kim & Lawrence J. Lau, 1996. "The sources of Asian Pacific economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 448-54, April.
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