Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?

49 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2003 Last revised: 24 Oct 2003

See all articles by Casey B. Mulligan

Casey B. Mulligan

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Ricard Gil

Queen's University (Canada) - Smith School of Business; Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Date Written: October 2003

Abstract

Estimates of democracy's effect on the public sector are obtained from comparisons of 142 countries over the years 1960-90. Based on three tenets of voting theory -- that voting mutes policy preference intensity, political power is equally distributed in democracies, and the form of voting processes is important -- we expect democracy to affect policies that redistribute, or economically favor the political leadership, or enhance efficiency. We do not find such differences. Instead democracies are less likely to use policies that limit competition for public office. Alternative modeling approaches emphasize the degree of competition, and deemphasize the form or even existence of voting processes.

Suggested Citation

Mulligan, Casey B. and Sala-i-Martin, Francesc Xavier and Gil, Ricard, Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies? (October 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w10040. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=459411

Casey B. Mulligan (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Francesc Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

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Ricard Gil

Queen's University (Canada) - Smith School of Business ( email )

Smith School of Business - Queen's University
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Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://carey.jhu.edu

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