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Endogenous political institutions

Aghion, P.; Alesina, A.; Trebbi, F.; (2002) Endogenous political institutions. (NBER Working Papers 9006). National Bureau of Economic Research: Cambridge, US. Green open access

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Political institutions influence economic policy, but they are themselves endogenous since they are chosen, in some way, by members of the polity. An important aspect of institutional design is how much society chooses to delegate unchecked power to its leaders. If, once elected, a leader cannot be restrained, society runs the risk of a tyranny of the majority, if not the tyranny of a dictator. If a leader faces too many ex post checks and balances, legislative action is too often blocked. As our critical constitutional choice we focus upon the size of the minority needed to block legislation, or conversely the size of the (super) majority needed to govern. We analyze both 'optimal' constitutional design and 'positive' aspects of this process. We derive several empirical implications which we then discuss.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Endogenous political institutions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9006
Language: English
Additional information: Please see http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/17704/ for the version published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/17789
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