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
Date Written: May 15, 2019
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: Suggested Citation