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The Democracy Effect: a Weights-Based Identification Strategy

Pedro Dal Bó (), Andrew Foster () and Kenju Kamei ()

No 25724, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Dal Bó, Foster and Putterman (2010) show experimentally that the effect of a policy may be greater when it is democratically selected than when it is exogenously imposed. In this paper we propose a new and simpler identification strategy to measure this democracy effect. We derive the distribution of the statistic of the democracy effect, and apply the new strategy to the data from Dal Bó, Foster and Putterman (2010) and data from a new real-effort experiment in which subjects’ payoffs do not depend on the effort of others. The new identification strategy is based on calculating the average behavior under democracy by weighting the behavior of each type of voter by its prevalence in the whole population (and not conditional on the vote outcome). We show that use of these weights eliminates selection effects under certain conditions. Application of this method to the data in Dal Bó, Foster and Putterman (2010) confirms the presence of the democracy effect in that experiment, but no such effect is found for the real-effort experiment.

JEL-codes: C9 D02 D7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2019-04
Note: POL
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