Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/104205
Authors: 
Besley, Timothy
Persson, Torsten
Sturm, Daniel
Year of Publication: 
2006
Series/Report no.: 
Munich Discussion Paper 2006-4
Abstract: 
We formulate a model to explain why the lack of political competition may stifle economic performance and use the United States as a testing ground for the model’s predictions, exploiting the 1965 Voting Rights Act which helped break the near monpoly on political power of the Democrats in southern states. We find statistically robust evidence that changes in political competition have quantitatively important effects on state income growth, state policies, and quality of Governors. By our bottom-line estimate, the increase in political competition triggered by the Voting Rights Act raised long-run per capita income in the average affected state by about 20 percent.
Subjects: 
US south
voting restrictions
political competition
economic growth
JEL: 
D72
H11
H70
N12
O11
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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