Public Choice

, Volume 139, Issue 1–2, pp 197–225 | Cite as

The economic effects of constitutions: replicating—and extending—Persson and Tabellini

  • Lorenz Blume
  • Jens Müller
  • Stefan VoigtEmail author
  • Carsten Wolf


Persson and Tabellini (The Economic Effects of Constitutions, The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2003) show that presidential regimes and majoritarian election systems have important economic effects. Here, the number of countries is expanded and more recent data is used. In replicating and extending their analyses, we find that the effect of presidential regimes 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 on party lists and district size, are particularly important.


Constitutional economics Form of government Electoral rules Fiscal policy Governance Productivity 

JEL Classification

D72 E60 H00 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenz Blume
    • 1
  • Jens Müller
    • 2
  • Stefan Voigt
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Carsten Wolf
    • 2
  1. 1.Economics DepartmentUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.University of KasselKasselGermany
  3. 3.Department for Economics and Business AdministrationPhilipps University MarburgMarburgGermany
  4. 4.CESifoMunichGermany

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