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Francisco Cabrillo and Miguel A. Puchades-Navarro

decentralization into an analysis of reforms as they are being implemented seems more promising, since it allows one to formulate hypotheses about the relationship between economic performance over time and changes in decentralization. In his chapter ‘Democracy-­preserving institutions: the quasi-­federal system of South Africa’, Giorgio Brosio analyzes the process of decentralization carried out in South Africa after the 1996 Constitution. The case of South Africa is one of the most interesting among the current decentralization processes. This interest stems from the

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Pierre Salmon

legacy of his presidency was the relatively extensive political decentralization enacted in 1982. To account for these differences and to explore the relationship between economic reforms and political decentralization, the chapter argues that a reform has two dimensions, at least potentially. It is a process and it is a design. This is true whether the reform concerns the economic system or is about decentralization (or centralization). The organization of the chapter is inspired by this distinction. For economists, it seems natural to reason in terms of design – that

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Roger D. Congleton

designs. Indeed, it provides the first written liberal constitutional framework for monarchy in Europe. Liberalism emerged gradually in Spain, as also true elsewhere in Europe. The Enlightenment and liberalism were consequences of new rational perspectives on society, life on earth, and the natural world that emerged at about the same time as the Protestant Reformation. These secular theories challenged medieval views in many areas, including political and economic views that had long been espoused by the Catholic Church. This made the new perspectives congenial to

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Mario Ferrero

exclusive strategy – the value of the bond – is the higher, the more diversified the portfolio of non-­exclusive religious assets can be. Hence, in principle, a testable implication of this model is that, given that an exclusive religion is on offer, we should observe a positive correlation between a religious market’s product assortment mix and the rate of conversion. Anyway, the signalling value of exclusivity as a sunk cost seems to be the key to the occurrence of conversions.2 Emphasizing the supply side of exclusivity, in addition to the demand side stressed by

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Rob Roy McGregor

15 Monetary policy Rob Roy McGregor Monetary policy involves actions taken by central banks to affect the level of interest rates and the amounts of money and credit available in an economy. These actions are intended to promote national economic goals such as price stability and sustainable economic growth. Many central banks now operate with a considerable degree of policymaking independence, and many also have inflation targeting mandates. These monetary authorities must nevertheless be mindful of the political context in which they make their policy

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Geoffrey Brennan and Michael Brooks

Hillman’s focus on the relation between expressive behavior and identity draws the characterization of expressive behavior rather too narrowly – though, like H&J, we think identity is certainly one of the more important things that political actors might ‘express’ (and may be the most significant in some cases of interest). That it is in some ways regrettable (a) that the literature on expressive activity has focused so intensely on voting, and (b) that expressive voting theory has been framed in explicit contrast to, and as a critique of, ‘public choice’ orthodoxy

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Russell S. Sobel and Adam Pellillo

to maximize the credit they receive for the benefits delivered to constituents and electorally important special-interest groups. They argue that this motivational assumption implies that legislators will prefer to engage in firealarm oversight rather than police-patrol oversight because of the benefits this form of congressional oversight generates. As a poignant example, consider the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In this case, legislators on congressional oversight committees (for example, House Committee on Natural Resources, House

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Christopher J. Coyne and Adam Pellillo

technologies that can be employed by political actors: a technology of production and a technology of appropriation, conflict, and struggle.7 ‘Struggles’ can be construed as rent-seeking, for instance, in the sense of Tullock (1967, 1980b) and Krueger (1974), or as more violent conflicts for access to natural or mineral resources, such as crude oil and diamonds, or as opportunistic attempts to take advantage of weak state capacity.8 In conflict models like Hirshleifer’s, agents can divide their initial endowments between productive efforts, Ei, or fighting efforts, Fi, in

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Arye L. Hillman

19 Rent seeking Arye L. Hillman 1 1.1 THE CONCEPT OF RENT SEEKING Rents and Rent Seeking The public-choice school was the originator of the view in the modern economics literature that incentives of self-interest apply in all human behavior, including personal behavior of political decision-makers and government bureaucrats, as well as individuals, groups, and corporations seeking favors from government. Rents are akin to favors or gifts; if it is known that political decision-makers and government bureaucrats are prone to exercise discretion in assigning

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Thomas Stratmann

those supporting the measure were the big spenders, they were successful 67 percent of the time, while when opposing groups spent more, they succeeded in defeating 90 percent of these measures. Later studies using regression analysis find the same asymmetry. Distinguishing the effects of spending by different groups, Gerber (1998) finds that spending from opposing economic groups lowers the probability that a measure will pass, but that spending from citizen groups has no impact on passage rates. This result suggests that economic interest groups can improve a measure