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Democratic Institutions and Provision of Public Good

Abstract

This paper aims to test empirically the predictions of a theory that deals with the effect of different democratic regimes on public good provision. The theory predicts higher provision of public good in proportional electoral systems and parliamentary political regimes in comparison to majoritarian systems and presidential regimes respectively. The tests are performed using cross-country data from the 1990s on health and education quantity indicators of public good. Use of quantity indicators instead of expenditure data, previously used by other researchers, enables a cleaner test of the theory as a higher amount of any quantity measure clearly indicates a higher supply of public good. Overall, the robust results in this paper do not provide enough support for the theory. Electoral system has no effect on any of the public good indicators while except for two indicators under education, the nature of the political regime has no significant effect either.

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