Learn More
How well any government functions hinges on how good citizens are at making their politicians accountable for their actions. Political control of public of®cials depends on two factors. First, free and regular elections allow citizens to discipline politiciansÐÐthe credible threat of losing of®ce in the next period compels policy makers to respond to the(More)
In this paper we reassess the nature and causes of growth (measured through urbanization as well as nineteenth-century per capita income) in Europe from around 1200 to 1900. Employing a comprehensive dataset for the European continent that includes biogeographic features and urbanization data (1200-1800), per capita income data in the second half of the(More)
Many believe and argue that fiscal, or budgetary, transparency has large, positive effects on fiscal performance. However, the evidence linking transparency and fiscal policy outcomes is less compelling. To analyze the effects of fiscal transparency on public debt accumulation, we present a career-concerns model with political parties. This allows us to(More)
To account for the strong and positive correlation found between trade openness and the size of the public sector, scholars have developed theoretical explanations in which politics have remained conspicuously absent in two ways. First, why some economies are more open than others has been (implicitly) attributed to parameters exogenous to the political(More)
Scholars investigating European state development have long placed a heavy emphasis on the role played by representative institutions. The presence of an active representative assembly, it is argued, allowed citizens and rulers to contract over raising revenue and accessing credit. It may also have had implications for economic growth. These arguments have(More)
Human osteological data provide a rich, still-to-be-mined source of information about the distribution of nutrition and, by extension, the distribution of political power and economic wealth in societies of long ago. On the basis of data we have collected and analyzed on societies ranging from foraging communities to the ancient Egyptian and modern European(More)
Abstract: Non-tax revenues make up a substantial amount of government revenue around the world, though scholars usually focus on individual sources of such revenue (for example, foreign aid and state-owned oil companies). Using a theory of regime change that builds on recent models of the redistributional foundations of dictatorships and democracies, I(More)