nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
27 papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Turnout, political preferences and information: Experimental evidence from Perú By Gianmarco León
  2. Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics? By Thomas Braendle
  3. Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy By Liu, Xuepeng; Ornelas, Emanuel
  4. Policy Choices by an Incumbent - A Case with Down-Up Problem, Bias Beliefs and Retrospective Voting By Carlos Seixas; António Brandão; Manuel Luís Costa
  5. Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period By David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  6. Exit Polls, Turnout, and Bandwagon Voting: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Rebecca B. Morton; Daniel P. Mueller; Lionel Page; Benno Torgler
  7. Persistent effects of empires: Evidence from the partitions of Poland By Grosfeld, Irena; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
  8. Hyper-Plurality of Candidates, Effectiveness of Democratic Representation and Regulation of Candidate Entry in India By Kaushik, Bhattacharya; Subrata K, Mitra
  9. Political rivalry effects on human capital accumulation and inequality: a New Political Economy approach By Elena Sochirca; Oscar Afonso; Sandra Silva
  10. Political Business Cycles in Local Indonesia By Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir; Krisztina Kis-Katos; Guenther G. Schulze
  11. Unraveling Short- and Farsightedness in Politics By Gersbach, Hans; Ponta, Oriana
  12. Social Fragmentation, Public Goods and Elections: Evidence from China By Padro, Gerard; Qian, Nancy; Yao, Yang
  13. Corruption and Financing of Political Parties - Case of Serbia By Vanja Bajovic; Savo Manojlovic
  14. Political economy aspects of fuel subsidies : a conceptual framework By Strand, Jon
  15. Why Are Women Less Democratic Than Men? Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Countries By Cecilia García-Peñalosa; Maty Konte
  16. Regime Change, Democracy and Growth By Freund, Caroline; Jaud, Melise
  17. Isolated Capital Cities and Misgovernance: Theory and Evidence By Campante, Filipe; Do, Quoc-Anh; Guimarães, Bernardo
  18. A Policy-Based Rationalization of Collective Rules: Dimensionality, Specialized Houses, and Decentralized Authority By Guemmegne, Juliette; Pongou, Roland
  19. Inferring hawks and doves from voting records By Eijffinger, Sylvester C W; Mahieu, Ronald J; Raes, Louis
  20. Regulatory and Political Climate of Biotechnology in the EU (Power Point) By Cullman, Constance
  21. Politics on the road to the U.S. monetary union By Peter L. Rousseau
  22. Russian Fiscal Federalism: Impact of Political and Fiscal (De)centralization By Alexeev, Michael; Weber, Shlomo
  23. Political Credit Cycles: The Case of the Euro Zone By Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús; Garicano, Luis; Santos, Tano
  24. Macroculture, Athletics and Democracy in ancient Greece By Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
  25. Governor’s term and information disclosure: Evidence from Japan By Yamamura, Eiji
  26. The Transmission of Democracy: From the Village to the Nation-State By Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan
  27. The Political Economy of Reform and Development of the Washington Consensus By Alshyab, Nooh

  1. By: Gianmarco León
    Abstract: Electoral institutions that encourage citizens to vote are widely used around the world. Yet little is known about the effects of such institutions on voter participation and the composition of the electorate. In this paper, I combine a field experiment with a change in Peruvian voting laws to identify the effect of monetary (dis-)incentives on voting. Using the random variation in the fine for abstention and an objective measure of turnout at the individual level, I estimate the elasticity of voting with respect to cost to be -0.21. Consistent with the theoretical model presented, the reduction in turnout induced by the reduction in the fine is driven by voters who (i) are in the center of the political spectrum, (ii) are less interested in politics, and (iii) hold less political information. However, voters who respond to changes in the cost of abstention do not have different preferences for policies than those who vote regardless of the cost. Further, involvement in politics, as measured by the decision to acquire political information, seems to be independent of the level of the fine. Additional results indicate that the reduction in the fine does not affect the incidence of vote buying, but increases the price paid for a vote.
    Keywords: Voting Behavior; Incentives to Vote, Public Choice, Perú.
    JEL: D71 D72 O53
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Thomas Braendle (University of Basel)
    Abstract: <p style="text-align:justify"><span style="font-size:12.0pt; line-height:115%; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"">Traditional political economy has paid primary attention to the structuring of the principal-agent relationship between citizens and politicians and the role of competition and institutions in disciplining political agents. However, as the electoral control of politicians and the credibility of policy commitments are limited, this perspective needs to be complemented with an economics of political selection that takes into account the quality of those elected to political office. We review the emerging literature which investigates institutional conditions that impact the selection of politicians. We discuss pay in politics, electoral rules, institutions enhancing transparency in politics, and institutions which govern dual office holding in different branches of government. We argue that further comparative analyses are essential in order to gain an improved understanding of the impact that institutions have on political outcomes, not only via the channel of accountability, but also via the channel of selection.</span>
    Keywords: political selection, electoral rules, incompatibility, citizen candidate model
    JEL: D72 D73 H11
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Liu, Xuepeng; Ornelas, Emanuel
    Abstract: We study the relationship between participation in free trade agreements (FTAs) and the sustainability of democracy. Our model shows that FTAs can critically reduce the incentive of authoritarian groups to seek power by destroying protectionist rents, thus making democracies last longer. This gives governments in unstable democracies an extra motive to form FTAs. Hence, greater democratic instability induces governments to boost their FTA commitments. In a dataset with 116 countries over 1960-2007, we find robust support for these predictions. They help to rationalize the rapid simultaneous growth of regionalism and of worldwide democratization since the late 1980s.
    Keywords: political regimes; Regionalism; rent destruction; trade liberalization
    JEL: D72 F13 F15 F53
    Date: 2013–01
  4. By: Carlos Seixas (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, and CEF.UP); António Brandão (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, and CEF.UP); Manuel Luís Costa (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, and CEF.UP)
    Abstract: The main question addressed in the model regards which type of incentives an elected politician has to choose good or bad policies. In order to answer it, we focus on two inefficiencies, recently considered in the literature: the down-up problem and voters having bias beliefs and voting retrospectively. Moreover, we consider that the politician receives utility from holding office and from the success of his projects and, as to his policy platform choice; he can choose any combination of bad (yet popular) policies and good (yet less popular) policies. We are able to show that politicians can choose good long term policy platforms even when those policies have bad short term results. Motivation regarding the success of the projects or an incumbent bias tends to induce the politician to implement a good policy. Unclear responsibilities or campaign promises will have mixed effects on the type of policy implemented.
    Keywords: Policy choice; Elections; Voting behavior; Retrospective voting; Biased beliefs; Down-up problem
    JEL: D72 D78 D83 D90 P16
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Using a natural voting experiment in Switzerland that encompasses a 160-year period (1848–2009), we investigate whether a higher level of complexity leads to increased reliance on expert knowledge. We find that when more referenda are held on the same day, constituents are more likely to refer to parliamentary recommendations in making their decisions. This finding holds true even when we narrow our focus to referenda with a relatively lower voter turnout on days on which more than one referendum was held. We also show that when constituents face a higher level of complexity, they listen to parliament rather than interest groups.
    Keywords: Bounded rationality, voting, referenda attention, rules of thumb
    JEL: D03 D72 D83 H70
    Date: 2013–03–14
  6. By: Rebecca B. Morton; Daniel P. Mueller; Lionel Page; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: We exploit a voting reform in France to estimate the causal effect of exit poll information on turnout and bandwagon voting. Before the change in legislation, individuals in some French overseas territories voted after the election result had already been made public via exit poll information from mainland France. We estimate that knowing the exit poll information decreases voter turnout by about 12 percentage points. Our study is the first clean empirical design outside of the laboratory to demonstrate the effect of such knowledge on voter turnout. Furthermore, we find that exit poll information significantly increases bandwagon voting; that is, voters who choose to turn out are more likely to vote for the expected winner.
    Date: 2013–03–14
  7. By: Grosfeld, Irena; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
    Abstract: We use spatial regression discontinuity analysis to test whether the historical partition of Poland among three empires—Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Prussia—has a persistent effect on political outcomes in contemporary Poland and to examine the channels of this influence. We find that the main difference in voting across Polish territories attributed by many observers to the legacy of empires is driven by omitted variables. However, empires do have a significant causal effect. The lands that belonged to Prussia (compared with those that belonged to Russia) vote more for anticommunist (post-Solidarity) parties. This difference is largely explained by the persistent effect of infrastructure built by Prussians at the time of industrialization. The former Austrian lands (compared with former Russian lands) votes more for religious conservatives and for liberals. The difference in the vote for religious conservatives is explained by persistent differences in church attendance driven by vastly different policies of the two empires toward the Catholic Church. Higher support for liberals on the Austrian side is partly explained by a persistent belief in democracy, which is a legacy of decentralized democratic governance of the Austrian empire.
    Keywords: culture; empires; infrastructure; Partitions of Poland; persistence; Poland
    JEL: O10 P43 P48 P50 Z12
    Date: 2013–03
  8. By: Kaushik, Bhattacharya; Subrata K, Mitra
    Abstract: The presence of large number of candidates in Indian elections had often evoked extremely strong policy recommendations from different expert groups. The major policy tool to control candidate entry in India had, however, been electoral deposit. Using panel data on elections in different states and UTs, our study estimates the impact of electoral deposit on candidate entry. Results suggest that increase in deposit had a substantial short-term negative impact on candidate entry. The candidate structure in India, however, is fairly persistent due to feedbacks in political opportunity. For effective deterrence on continuous basis, regulators, therefore, need to change deposit frequently and keep it at a high level compared to the current international benchmark. We observe that the high deposit may not be an effective barrier against unethical practices like cloning, but could discriminate political participation of genuinely underprivileged groups. In contrast, the current level of signature requirement, a relatively unused policy tool for controlling candidate entry, is found to be low in India and could be easily increased further in order to be effective. We argue that given the high variation and lack of stability in candidate structure across regions and over time, a local approach on signature requirement -- as in the US -- could be an effective deterrent in India. Accordingly, we suggest that the Election Commission of India (ECI) should not only have the power to determine the deposit before each election, it should also have the power to change the minimum signature requirement across constituencies under certain pre-specified conditions.
    Keywords: Candidate Entry, Electoral Regulation, Electoral Deposits, Signature Requirements, Indian Elections, Independent Candidates
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2013–02
  9. By: Elena Sochirca (FEP); Oscar Afonso (FEP); Sandra Silva (FEP)
    Abstract: Abstract We propose an endogenous growth model with elements of new political economy in order to study the effects of political institutions and political rivalry on human capital accumulation and income inequality. Relating to the increasing literature on the relationship between income redistribution, inequality and growth, and on the political economy of growth, our model shows that (i) non-distortionary redistribution via public education equalizes income levels and increases human capital accumulation; (ii) political rivalry produces negative outcomes in all dimensions of the considered economic interactions. In particular, we find that occurring episodes of political rivalry reduce human capital accumulation through their negative impact on public investments in education, workers' wages and individual learning choice, and increase income inequality. As regards the role of political institutions, our analysis suggests that the elasticities of human capital accumulation with respect to public and private investments have crucial implications for public policies and require particular attention to the political rivalry effects.
    Keywords: political rivalry, institutions, human capital accumulation, public education, inequality, efficient redistribution, economic growth.
    JEL: H21 H40 H52 E24
    Date: 2012–09
  10. By: Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir; Krisztina Kis-Katos; Guenther G. Schulze (Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg)
    Abstract: We study political business cycles (PBC) in newly democratized and decentralized Indonesia at the local level. As the timing of indirect and later on direct elections of district heads differs exogenously across jurisdictions, the political business cycle effect is clearly identified. Our data allow distinguishing PBCs for indirect and direct elections. We find significant budget cycles for discretionary budget categories at the disposal of the district head (not for the overall budget) only for direct elections, not for indirect elections. These cycles are much larger if the incumbent runs for reelection. Our results underline the conditional nature of PBC.
    Keywords: Political business cycles, Indonesia, local elections, direct and indirect elections
    Date: 2013–04
  11. By: Gersbach, Hans; Ponta, Oriana
    Abstract: The absence of the deselection threat in incumbents' last term in office can be negative or positive for society. Some politicians may reduce their efforts, while others may pursue beneficial long-term policies that may be unpopular in the short term. We propose a novel pension system that solves the effort problem while preserving willingness to implement long-term policies. The idea is to give politicians the option to choose between a flexible and a fixed pension scheme. In the flexible pension scheme, the pension increases with short-term performance, using the vote share of the officeholder's party in the next election as an indicator. Self-selection yields welfare optimality as officeholders are encouraged to invest in those activities that benefit society most. We analyze the properties and consequences of such a system. Finally, we extend the pension system with choice to non-last-term situations and derive a general welfare result.
    Keywords: effort; elections; incumbents; political contracts; selection; vote share thresholds
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2013–01
  12. By: Padro, Gerard; Qian, Nancy; Yao, Yang
    Abstract: This study examines how the economic effects of elections in rural China depend on voter heterogeneity, for which we proxy with religious fractionalization. We first document religious composition and the introduction of village-level elections for a nearly nationally representative sample of over two hundred villages. Then, we examine the interaction effect of heterogeneity and the introduction of elections on village-government provision of public goods. The interaction effect is negative. We interpret this as evidence that voter heterogeneity constrains the potential benefits of elections for public goods provision.
    Keywords: Democracy; Fractionalization; Pre-Conditions; Religion; Voter Heterogeneity
    JEL: O1 P1
    Date: 2013–01
  13. By: Vanja Bajovic (University of Belgrade Law School); Savo Manojlovic (Constitutional Court of Serbia)
    Abstract: This paper focused on political corruption in Serbia in area of political party funding. In the first chapter are described various forms of political corruption regarding party funding and their peculiarities in post-transitional countries. Legislative, institutional and social anti corruption mechanisms are analyzed after that. The second chapter is dedicated to legislative framework, with particular focus on Serbian Law on financing of political activities and its anti corruptive provisions. Institutional mechanisms that include monitoring agency, financial transparency and judiciary independence are analyzed in the third chapter. Finally, monitoring by free press, informed public and other social conditions are discussed in the end. The paper is illustrated by numerous cases from Serbian practice. It critically examines implementation of quoted mechanisms and gives some legislative suggestions for their improvement.
    Keywords: political corruption, political parties, funding of political parties, Serbia
    Date: 2013–02
  14. By: Strand, Jon
    Abstract: While notoriously inefficient, fuel subsidies are widespread, and in many cases politically stable. This paper discusses and models various political economy aspects of fuel subsidies, focusing on gasoline and kerosene. Both economic and political are considered to explain differences in subsidies, with particular focus on democratic and autocratic governments. A political process is modeled whereby a promise of low fuel prices is used in democracies to attract voters, and in autocracies to mobilize support among key groups. Subsidies to fuels are viewed as either easier to observe, easier to commit to, easier to deliver, or better targeted at core groups, than other public goods or favors offered by rulers. Easier commitment and delivery than for regular public goods can explain the high prevalence of such policies in autocracies, and also in young democracies where the capacity to commit to or deliver complex public goods is not yet fully developed. The analysis provides a framework for empirical testing and verification.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Economic Theory&Research,Energy Production and Transportation,Transport and Environment,Public Sector Economics
    Date: 2013–03–01
  15. By: Cecilia García-Peñalosa (Aix Marseille University (Aix Marseille School of Economics), Cnrs and Ehess); Maty Konte (Aix Marseille University (Aix Marseille School of Economics), Cnrs and Ehess)
    Abstract: A substantial literature has examined the determinants of support for democracy and although existing work has found a gender gap in democratic attitudes, there have been no attempts to explain it. In this paper we try to understand why females are less supportive of democracy than males in a number of countries. Using data for 20 Sub-Saharan African countries, we test whether the gap is due to individual differences in policy priorities or to country-wide characteristics. We find that controlling for individual policy priorities does not offset the gender gap, but those women who are interested in politics are more democratic than men. Furthermore, our results indicate that the gap disappears in countries with high levels of human development and political rights.
    Keywords: Support for democracy, gender gap, policy priorities, institutions
    JEL: D01 J16 O38 O55
    Date: 2013–03–19
  16. By: Freund, Caroline; Jaud, Melise
    Abstract: Theory and empirics are ambiguous on the effect of democracy on growth. Cross-country studies find that democracy has no significant impact on growth. In contrast, within-country studies find a strong positive effect of transition to democracy. We reconcile this inconsistency by showing that the positive effect of political transition is a result of swift regime change and not democratization. We identify and examine 90 successful, failed, and gradual transitions that have occurred over the last half century. This new classification permits us to compare successful episodes of democratization with unsuccessful ones -- as opposed to with the counterfactual of no transition. We find that both successful and failed transitions boost long-run growth by about one percentage point, but gradual change is quite costly in economic terms. The results imply that the growth dividend from political transition is a result of regime change and not democratization, and also offer new evidence on the importance of the speed of transition for economic growth. The results are robust to a number of alternative specifications, to stricter and more lenient definitions of democratic transition, and to including reverse transitions.
    Keywords: democratization; event study; political transition
    JEL: N40 O43
    Date: 2013–01
  17. By: Campante, Filipe; Do, Quoc-Anh; Guimarães, Bernardo
    Abstract: Motivated by a novel stylized fact -- countries with isolated capital cities display worse quality of governance -- we provide a framework of endogenous institutional choice based on the idea that elites are constrained by the threat of rebellion, and that this threat is rendered less effective by distance from the seat of political power. In established democracies, the threat of insurgencies is not a binding constraint, and the model predicts no correlation between isolated capitals and misgovernance. In contrast, a correlation emerges in equilibrium in the case of autocracies. Causality runs both ways: broader power sharing (associated with better governance) means that any rents have to be shared more broadly, hence the elite has less of an incentive to protect its position by isolating the capital city; conversely, a more isolated capital city allows the elite to appropriate a larger share of output, so the costs of better governance for the elite, in terms of rents that would have to be shared, are larger. We show evidence that this pattern holds true robustly in the data. We also show that isolated capitals are associated with less power sharing, a larger income premium enjoyed by capital city inhabitants, and lower levels of military spending by ruling elites, as predicted by the theory.
    Keywords: Capital Cities; Democracy; Governance; Institutions; Insurgencies; Population Concentration; Power sharing
    JEL: D02 D74 R12
    Date: 2013–01
  18. By: Guemmegne, Juliette; Pongou, Roland
    Abstract: We offer a policy basis for interpreting, justifying, and designing (3,3)-political rules, a large class of collective rules analogous to those governing the selection of papers in peer-reviewed journals, where each referee chooses to accept, reject, or invite a resubmission of a paper, and an editor aggregates his own and referees' opinions into one of these three recommendations. We prove that any such rule is a weighted multicameral rule: a policy is collectively approved at a given level if and only if it is approved by a minimal number of chambers- the dimension of the rule-, where each chamber evaluates a different aspect of the policy using a weighted rule, with each evaluator's weight or authority possibly varying across chambers depending on his area(s) of expertise. Conversely, it is always possible to design a rule under which a policy is collectively approved at a given level if and only if it meets a certain number of predefined criteria, so that one can set the standards for policies first, and then design the rules that justify the passage of policies meeting those standards. These results imply that a given rule is only suitable for evaluating finite-dimensional policies whose dimension corresponds to that of the rule, and they provide a rationale for using different rules to pass different policies even within the same organization. We further introduce the concept of compatibility with a rule, and use it to propose a method to construct integer weights corresponding to evaluators' possible judgments under a given rule, which are more intuitive and easier to interpret for policymakers. Our findings shed light on multicameralism in political institutions and multi-criteria group decision-making in the firm. We provide applications to peer review politics, rating systems, and real-world organizations.
    Keywords: (3,3)-political rules, multicameralism, multi-criteria group decision-making, decentralized authority, rule suitability and design
    JEL: D71 D72 H40 K10
    Date: 2013–04–09
  19. By: Eijffinger, Sylvester C W; Mahieu, Ronald J; Raes, Louis
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate spatial voting models for the analysis of the voting record of the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England. We use a flexible Bayesian approach for estimating such models. A simple modification to the standard spatial model as well as a variety of model checks are proposed to deal with the specifics of the data available. We provide evidence that extreme policy preferences are to be found among the external members. We also consider the variation in policy preferences according to career backgrounds. The median voter preference is similar for different backgrounds, except for those with a background in the industry where the median voter is more hawkish. The heterogeneity in policy preferences is the largest among academics and those with a background in the industry. The range of policy preferences is much smaller among other groups, in particular among monetary policy committee members with central bank experience who exhibit the lowest heterogeneity in policy preferences.
    Keywords: central banking; ideal points; voting record
    JEL: C11 E58 E59
    Date: 2013–04
  20. By: Cullman, Constance
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2013–02
  21. By: Peter L. Rousseau (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: Is political unity a necessary condition for a successful monetary union? The early United States seems a leading example of this principle. But the view is misleadingly simple. I review the historical record and uncover signs that the United States did not achieve a stable monetary union, at least if measured by a uniform currency and adequate safeguards against systemic risk, until well after the Civil War and probably not until the founding of the Federal Reserve. Political change and shifting policy positions end up as key factors in shaping the monetary union that did ultimately emerge.
    Keywords: colonial currency, Bank of the United States, Jacksonian monetary policy, free banking, National Banking System, Federal Reserve System
    JEL: N1 N2
    Date: 2013–03–25
  22. By: Alexeev, Michael; Weber, Shlomo
    Abstract: The extent of political and fiscal centralization in Russia has experienced dramatic changes since the end of the Soviet era. The heavily centralized, both politically and economically, federal structures became dysfunctional and unstable until the introduction of the Budget and Tax Codes over the last decade induced a relative clarity to revenue assignments and expenditure and management responsibilities of different levels of government. While the creation of federal districts and the elimination of elections of regional governors in 2005 have brought a substantial rise of political centralization, the reforms had an ambiguous effect on fiscal centralization and fiscal independence of the regions, the estimation of which is addressed in this paper. We use an updated and extensive dataset and apply a novel estimation technique by evaluating the response of regional government’s expenditures to changes in the size of the GRP (gross regional product) and to changes in the region’s tax collections. While the results related to regional shares of tax revenues and expenditures are somewhat ambiguous, the examination of marginal fiscal incentives suggests an increase in fiscal centralization in Russia over the last decade. Our investigation also indicates that, contrary to Treisman’s (2000) conjecture, no decline in the variability of tax revenues had taken place in the last decade. We also show that the recent variability of GRP has been smaller than for tax revenues but greater than for budget expenditures, which stresses the effectiveness of budget equalization policies of the central government. Finally, we briefly addressed the issue of intra-regional fiscal relations, which is of crucial importance for political and economic progress of the country.
    Keywords: expenditures; intergovernmental fiscal relations; political centralization; Russian regions; tax revenues; transfers
    JEL: H71 H73 H77
    Date: 2013–02
  23. By: Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús; Garicano, Luis; Santos, Tano
    Abstract: We study the mechanisms through which the adoption of the Euro delayed, rather than advanced, economic reforms in the Euro zone periphery and led to the deterioration of important institutions in these countries. We show that the abandonment of the reform process and the institutional deterioration, in turn, not only reduced their growth prospects but also fed back into financial conditions, prolonging the credit boom and delaying the response to the bubble when the speculative nature of the cycle was already evident. We analyze empirically the interrelation between the financial boom and the reform process in Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal and, by way of contrast, in Germany, a country that did experience a reform process after the creation of the Euro.
    Keywords: bubbles; Euro crisis; Financial crisis; political economy
    JEL: D72 E0 G15
    Date: 2013–03
  24. By: Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
    Abstract: In the present essay we examine whether and how sports affected the emergence of democracy as a political phenomenon in Classical Greece. To achieve this we introduce in a model the concept of macroculture as a complex of mutually supporting values, norms and beliefs in various areas of human activity, like athletics, war, politics, etc. Then, we proceed through a historical review on the history of sports in Ancient Greece and we investigate various aspects of how and under which terms athletics performed during classical Greece, predominantly, in ancient Athens. We found that the values that gradually emerged through sports during an extended period that goes back as far as the Bronze Age times, led to the development of an environment of mutually supporting norms and values such as equality and trust, that by being correlated and coordinated each other, led to the creation of new values and norms, as the theory of macroculture proposes. We also found that these new values were “diffused” from athletics to the field of politics and played a key role to the emergence of democracy.
    Keywords: Macroculture, sports, democracy, Classical Greece.
    JEL: D71 I28 Z13
    Date: 2012–05–08
  25. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Local governors that hold office for longer periods are thought to be more likely to collude with various groups to increase their own benefit through long-term interaction. There is no term limit for local governors in Japan, seemingly causing such collusive behavior. However, since 1987, local government at the prefecture level has begun to promulgate public information disclosure ordinances, which is anticipated to prevent collusive behavior. As of 2001, all 47 local governments have promulgated their local ordinances. This paper uses a prefecture level dataset from 1987 and 2001 to explore whether the number of years that local governors hold office is associated with the timing of the promulgation of public information disclosure ordinances. The major finding using survival regression analysis is that the longer local governors hold office, the less likely the ordinance is promulgated. This highlights the policy implication that the term of local governors should be limited.
    Keywords: Multiple terms, information-disclosure ordinance, collusion, survival regression analysis.
    JEL: C41 G38 P48
    Date: 2013–03–27
  26. By: Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan
    Abstract: We provide evidence that a history of democracy at the local level is associated with contemporary democracy at the national level. Auxiliary estimates show that a tradition of local democracy is also associated with attitudes that favor democracy, with better quality institutions, and higher level of economic development.
    Keywords: democracy; historical persistence; local institutions
    JEL: N30 P0 Z1
    Date: 2013–01
  27. By: Alshyab, Nooh
    Abstract: The beginning of the 1980s represented for many developing countries a particularly critical period. To escape economic and financial difficulties, these countries had to engage into economic and political reforms, often under the umbrella of international institutions. Such circumstances offered the chance to collect a wide range of comparable reform experiences and represented thus a big lab for testing existing theories on stability, growth, and development. Focussing on the reform experiences of the 1980s and 1990s, this paper analyses their underlying economic wisdom and tries, according to their main results, to extrapolate some guidelines for reform. Overall, the analysis points at the need for a tailored approach to reform, which takes into account a country’s peculiarities and its specific barriers to growth and development.
    Keywords: Economic reform theory, development economics, Washington Consensus
    JEL: E60 F55
    Date: 2013–04–09

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