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Endogenous constitutions

Ticchi, Davide and Vindigni, Andrea Endogenous constitutions. Economic Journal, 120 (543). pp. 1-39. ISSN 0013-0133 (2010)

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Abstract

We present a theory of the choice of alternative democratic constitutions, a majoritarian or a consensual one, in an unequal society. A majoritarian democracy redistributes resources from the collectivity toward relatively few people, and has a relatively small government and low level of taxation. A consensual democracy redistributes resources toward a broader spectrum of social groups but also has a larger government and a higher level of taxation. We show that a consensual system turns out to be preferred by society when ex ante income inequality is relatively low, while a majoritarian system is chosen when income inequality is relatively high. We also obtain that consensual democracies should be expected to be ruled more often by center-left coalitions while the right should have an advantage in majoritarian constitutions. The implications for the relationship between inequality and redistribution are discussed. Historical evidence and a cross-sectional analysis support our results.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02309.x
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Professor Andrea Vindigni
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2011 13:32
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2011 13:12
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/770

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