Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States

53 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2005 Last revised: 19 Nov 2022

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Torsten Persson

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Daniel M. Sturm

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

One of the most cherished propositions in economics is that market competition by and large raises consumer welfare. But whether political competition has similarly virtuous consequences is far less discussed. This paper formulates a model to explain why political competition may enhance economic performance and uses the United States as a testing ground for the model's implications. It finds statistically robust evidence that political competition has quantitatively important effects on state income growth, state policies, and the quality of Governors.

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Persson, Torsten and Sturm, Daniel M., Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States (July 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11484, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=760177

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6702 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Torsten Persson (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+46 8 163066 (Phone)
+46 8 164177 (Fax)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Daniel M. Sturm

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 1363 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 6227 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
122
Abstract Views
3,095
Rank
267,249
PlumX Metrics