Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=358600
 
 

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Endogenous Political Institutions


Philippe Aghion


Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alberto F. Alesina


Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Francesco Trebbi


University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

November 2002

CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3473

Abstract:     
A fundamental aspect of institutional design is how much society chooses to delegate unchecked power to its leaders. If, once elected, a leader cannot be restrained, society runs the risk of a tyranny of the majority, if not the tyranny of a dictator. If a leader faces too many ex post checks and balances, legislative action is too often blocked. As our critical constitutional choice we focus upon the size of the minority needed to block legislation, or conversely the size of the (super) majority needed to govern. We analyse both 'optimal' constitutional design and 'positive' aspects of this process. We derive several empirical implications, which we then discuss.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

Keywords: Political systems, endogenous constitutions, super-majority rule

JEL Classification: 030, H10, O50

working papers series


Date posted: December 4, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Aghion, Philippe and Alesina, Alberto F. and Trebbi, Francesco, Endogenous Political Institutions (November 2002). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3473. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=358600

Contact Information

Philippe Aghion
Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-6675 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Alberto F. Alesina (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8388 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Francesco Trebbi
University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )
997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada
HOME PAGE: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/ftrebbi/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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