The Economic Effects of Constitutions by Torsten Persson

By Torsten Persson

The authors of the commercial results of Constitutions use econometric instruments to review what they name the "missing hyperlink" among constitutional structures and fiscal coverage; the e-book is an uncompromisingly empirical sequel to their past theoretical research of monetary coverage. Taking fresh theoretical paintings as some extent of departure, they ask which theoretical findings are supported and that are contradicted through the proof. the consequences are in line with comparisons of political associations throughout nations or time, in a wide pattern of up to date democracies. They locate that presidential/parliamentary and majoritarian/proportional dichotomies impression a number of financial variables: presidential regimes set off smaller public sectors, and proportional elections result in larger and no more special executive spending and bigger finances deficits. additionally, the main points of the electoral method (such as district value and poll constitution) impact corruption and structural rules towards monetary growth.Persson and Tabellini's objective is to attract conclusions in regards to the causal results of constitutions on coverage results. yet because constitutions usually are not randomly assigned to nations, how the constitutional method was once chosen within the first position needs to be taken under consideration. This increases tough methodological difficulties, that are addressed within the booklet. The learn is hence vital not just in its findings but additionally in setting up a technique for empirical research within the box of comparative politics.

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36 Policy Measures and Their Determinants To study cross-sectional variation in policy, we design a data set that includes 85 countries that can be considered democracies in the 1990s. ’’ This data set then forms the main basis for our empirical work on constitutional rules and policy outcomes across countries in chapters 6 and 7. It is used to analyze all of our measures of performance and policy outcomes: fiscal policy, rent extraction, growth-promoting policies, and productivity. To study time variation in policy, we design an alternative data set with 60 countries in which data are available for a sufficiently long period.

Despite the different estimation methods used, many of the results are surprisingly stable. In chapter 7, we turn to the table’s predictions regarding the constitutional effects on rent extraction and the open questions regarding structural policies and economic performance, once again relying 34 What Does Theory Say? on the cross-sectional variation in the data. In this chapter, as in the prior one, we find robust results partly in line with theory. Here, however, the finer measures of district magnitude and the ballot structure play a more important role than the crude classification into majoritarian and proportional electoral rules.

It is therefore convenient to separate our data into two different data sets corresponding to the two dimensions of policy variation. Since the theory underlying the predictions outlined in chapter 2 refers to democratic decision making, these data sets are restricted to democracies. The next chapter explains in detail our (sometimes quite generous) criteria for determining whether to include particular countries in the two sets of democracies. 36 Policy Measures and Their Determinants To study cross-sectional variation in policy, we design a data set that includes 85 countries that can be considered democracies in the 1990s.

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