The Economic Effects of Constitutions: Replicating - and Extending - Persson and Tabellini

47 Pages Posted: 16 May 2007

See all articles by Lorenz Blume

Lorenz Blume

Phillips University Marburg

Jens Müller

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Stefan Voigt

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

Carsten Wolf

University of Kassel - Economics

Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

Persson and Tabellini (2003) show that presidential regimes and majoritarian election systems have important effects on fiscal policy, government effectiveness and productivity. Here, their dataset is extended in a number of ways: the number of countries included is increased from 85 to up to 116, and more recent data for both government effectiveness and productivity are used. In replicating and extending their analyses, we find that the effect of presidential regimes on all three groups of economic variables vanishes almost entirely. With regard to electoral systems, the original results are largely confirmed: majoritarian (as opposed to proportional) electoral systems lead to lower government expenditure, lower levels of rent seeking but also lower output per worker. The institutional details such as the proportion of candidates that are not elected via party lists and the district magnitude have proved to be of particular importance. The question whether societies can improve their lot by choosing specific constitutional rules remains open.

Keywords: Positive Constitutional Economics, Forms of Government, Electoral Systems, Economic Effects of Constitutions

JEL Classification: D72, E60, H00

Suggested Citation

Blume, Lorenz and Müller, Jens and Voigt, Stefan and Wolf, Carsten, The Economic Effects of Constitutions: Replicating - and Extending - Persson and Tabellini (May 2007). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=985682 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.985682

Lorenz Blume

Phillips University Marburg ( email )

Am Plan 2
Marburg, D-35037
Germany

Jens Müller

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

Am Plan 2
Marburg, D-35037
Germany

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

Carsten Wolf

University of Kassel - Economics ( email )

Nora-Platiel Str. 4
34109 Kassel
Germany

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