Long Live the Doge? Death as a Term Limit on Executives in Middle Age and Renaissance Venice

45 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2018 Last revised: 16 May 2019

See all articles by Daniel J. Smith

Daniel J. Smith

Political Economy Research Institute and Department of Economics and Finance at Middle Tennessee State University

George R. Crowley

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy

Sebastian Leguizamon

Western Kentucky University

Date Written: May 15, 2019

Abstract

Can an electorate use the projected life expectancy of a lifetime-appointed executive to enforce binding, informal term limits? Informal term limits, based on the life expectancy of an executive candidate at election, would enable an electorate to exercise discretion in adjusting tenure lengths to minimize expected turnover and tenure-length costs, while also providing a strictly binding term limit; death. We provide a detailed historical case study of Middle Age and Renaissance Venice where the ruling patricians imposed informal term limits on their executive, the doge, utilizing the projected life expectancy of ducal candidates.

Keywords: Economic History; Public Choice; Term Limits; Venice

JEL Classification: D7, H1, N4

Suggested Citation

Smith, Daniel J. and Crowley, George R. and Leguizamon, Sebastian, Long Live the Doge? Death as a Term Limit on Executives in Middle Age and Renaissance Venice (May 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3128221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3128221

Daniel J. Smith (Contact Author)

Political Economy Research Institute and Department of Economics and Finance at Middle Tennessee State University ( email )

MTSU Box 190
1301 E. Main St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37132-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danieljosephsmith.com/

George R. Crowley

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy ( email )

Bibb Graves Hall
Troy, AL 36082
United States

Sebastian Leguizamon

Western Kentucky University ( email )

Bowling Green, KY
United States

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