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The Political Economy of Institutions

Опубликовано на портале: 22-09-2003
Год: Spring Semester, 2003
Язык: Английский
Тематические разделы: Экономика, Новая политическая экономия

Research on the organization of democratic institutions is flourishing in the fields of economics and comparative politics. Students in both fields have rediscovered some of the questions and themes that occupied thinkers like Aristotle, Rousseau, and Madison. This course provides an overview of some classic and contemporary approaches to basic questions of institutional design in democracies, paying special attention to the relationship between democracy, public goods, and economic growth. We start by asking whether there is a link between democracy and economic growth. Our rather unsatisfying answer is that it depends. We discover that the relationship depends on whether democratic institutions are able to solve a variety of basic problems, like public goods, coordination, collective action, and the tragedy of the commons. After discussing these concepts, we are ready to take a closer look at types of democracies around the world. We explore the role of electoral institutions, the distinction between majoritarian and consensus democracy, the relationship between executives and legislatures, and the roles of federalism and central bank independence. We will address a variety of normative and positive questions about institutions, but one question will dominate: Under what conditions will democracies make policies that serve the common interest rather than the interests of small groups? The third section of the course assesses a variety of empirical evidence. In particular, we focus on the size of the public sector, fiscal performance, macroeconomic stability, inflation, and trade.


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См. также:
Sebastian Edwards, I. Igal Magendzo
NBER Working Paper Series. 2001. 
James M. Buchanan
Paul J. Zak
Robert Townsend, Kenichi Ueda
IMF, Working Paper. 2007.  No. 07/154.