Correlates and Determinants of Direct Democracy

35 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2014

See all articles by Lorenz Blume

Lorenz Blume

Phillips University Marburg

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 23, 2014

Abstract

This paper studies correlates and determinants of direct democracy institutions (DDIs), such as referendums and initiatives, based on the premise that constitutions themselves are endogenous. Our sample covers as many as 132 countries from 1950 to 2006. We find that the likelihood that a country includes DDIs in its constitution increases over time, particularly during the 1990s and 2000s. In our econometric analysis, we employ a two-tier approach, the first tier analyzing the time-invariant factors associated with the existence of DDIs, the second tier focusing on changes in time-variant factors. We discover that (i) new constitutions make the introduction of DDIs more likely; (ii) the degree of democratization is positively related to constitutions containing DDIs; (iii) an increase in the number of riots and assassinations raises the likelihood of constitutionally anchoring DDIs; (iv) if political leaders achieved power or were removed from office through irregular means, the introduction of DDIs is more likely; if they leave office due to health reasons, DDIs are less likely to be included in the constitution; and (v) religious fractionalization is negatively associated with the possibility of referendums.

Keywords: Direct Democracy, Referendums, Initiatives, Endogenous Constitutions

JEL Classification: D72, H11, P51

Suggested Citation

Blume, Lorenz and Hayo, Bernd and Voigt, Stefan, Correlates and Determinants of Direct Democracy (December 23, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2542156 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2542156

Lorenz Blume

Phillips University Marburg ( email )

Am Plan 2
Marburg, D-35037
Germany

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 24
Marburg, D-35032
Germany
++49(0)6421-28-23091 (Phone)
++49(0)6421-28-23193 (Fax)

Stefan Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49-40-428385782 (Phone)
+49-40-428386794 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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