American Political Science Association

Published by Cambridge University Press

Online ISSN: 1537-5943


Print ISSN: 0003-0554


The roots of interprovincial inequality in education and health services in China since 1949
  • Article

February 1979


49 Reads

David M. Lampton
The key hypotheses which find support in this study of the determinants of variations among the provinces of China in the provision of health and education services are: (1) that interprovincial variations in the provision of educational and health services can be explained largely by economic and ecological factors; (2) that specific levels of education and various types of medical services are responsive in different ways to changes in particular variables. For instance, the survival of cooperative health programs in the 1970s is much more sensitive to alterations in agricultural production than is the urban hospital system, which is much more dependent upon urban economic growth. This refines Dye's findings and makes them more applicable to Third World systems. (3) Central policy choices are therefore important because choices relating to investment strategy and program structure ultimately determine the relationship between the economy and the programs.

Republican Schoolmaster: The U.S. Supreme Court, Public Opinion, and Abortion

October 1989


72 Reads

The United States Supreme Court has a historical role as a "republican schoolmaster," inculcating virtues in the citenzry. The role as teacher to the republic also serves the interests of the Court. As the "weakest branch," the Supreme Court needs public support if its decisions are to be effective. We investigate the Court's ability to win popular support for its rulings, specifically in the case of Roe v. Wade. The analysis shows that the Court's decision did affect public attitudes but not as previous work would predict. While support for abortions to protect health increased as a result of the Court's decision, the public became more polarized over "discretionary" abortions. The puzzle is what process can account for these disparate reactions. We develop a theory resting on interpersonal influences to explain these results, arguing that the social interpretation of events drives the differing outcomes. This theory is then tested against a purely psychological alternative. The closing discussion considers how these results can be extended to the general problem of public decisions and popular responses, including presidential actions and the influence of the media.

Demographic, Social-Psychological, and Political Factors in the Politics of Aging: A Foundation for Research in "Political Gerontology"

February 1977


29 Reads

“Political gerontology” is the study of the political aspects of aging and the aged. Although psychology and sociology have research subfields concerning aging, this interest is just beginning to develop systematically within political science. Consequently, this article describes theory and research from several disciplines which together provide a foundation for research in “political gerontology.” Demographic analysis suggests that old people constitute a continuously growing component of the American population. Social-psychological analysis indicates that the aged are likely to engage in substantial political activity. Political analysis suggests that old people are likely to make increasing demands upon the political system. This multidisciplinary knowledge base, combined with the predicted increasing political salience of the aging population, suggests the contours of a research agenda for “political gerontology.”

Principals, Bureaucrats, and Responsiveness in Clean Air Enforcements

February 1988


25 Reads

A principal-agent perspective has been employed in recent studies to rediscover the importance of democratic hierarchies in shaping public bureaucratic outputs. I test the robustness of the hierarchy model for explaining outputs from an agency that has often been cast in the image of bureaucratic independence, the Environmental Protection Agency. Examining the effect of the Reagan presidency on EPA outputs for clean air, Box-Tiao models are constructed to explain shifts in the vigor of air pollution enforcements between 1977 and 1985. The analysis shows that the influence of elected institutions is limited when an agency has substantial bureaucratic resources and a zeal for their use. Moreover, under these conditions, bureaucracy can even move outputs in directions completely opposite from what a model of hierarchy would predict. The implication is that for some agencies it is necessary to give greater consideration to the agent in explaining implementation outcomes through time.

The Treasury and Whitehall: The Planning and Control of Public Expenditure, 1976-1993

January 2001


51 Reads

The Treasury is at the heart of British Government, responsible for deciding how much to spend and on what. Both the institution and the public expenditure process are the focus of `The Treasury and Whitehall', a tour de force of contemporary policy analysis. Based on research undertaken with the cooperation of the Treasury and Whitehall departments, it shows how the key decisions of planning, allocating and controlling public expenditure are made. With unique access to treasury Expenditure Controllers and senior financial officials in the main spending departments, the book provides a detailed and authoritative account of the roles, relationships and inter-actions of the key players in Whitehall Expenditure Community as they confront each other in annual rituals of the Expenditure 'Survey'. Thain and Wright explain how the rules of the expenditure game were re-drawn in the 1980s in the relentless search for cuts, greater economy and efficiency in the design and delivery of public services, and the creation of a more enterprising administrative culture. The authors explain how and why the Treasury was rarely able to impose its constitutional authority to stem the tide of rising public expenditure through the turbulent years of the Thatcher and Major Governments. They show that the Treasury is locked into a system of mutually constrained power-relationships with the Whitehall departments, and obliged to negotiate discretionary authority to control their spending. Available in OSO:

Issues, Economics and the Dynamics of Multi-Party Elections: The British 1987 General Election

February 1996


16 Reads

We offer a model of multiparty elections that combines voters' retrospective economic evaluations with consideration of parties' issue positions and the issue preferences of voters. We show that both policy issues and the state of the economy matter in British elections. In 1987 voters made a largely retrospective evaluation of the Conservatives based on economic performance; those who rejected the Conservative Party chose between Labour and Alliance based on issue positions. Through simulations we move the parties in the issue space and reestimate vote shares as well as hypothesize an alternative distribution of views on the economy and we show that Labour had virtually no chance to win with a centrist party, as a viable alternative. The predictions from our 1987 simulations are supported in an analysis of the 1992 British election. We argue for multinomial probit in studying three-party elections because it allows for a richer formulation of politics than do competing methods.

Figure 1: FONCODES expenditures, by month 
Table 2 provides descriptive statistics of socio-economic characteristics, voting patterns and per capita expenditures made by FONCODES. It shows that provinces in Peru vary a great deal on all of
Table 5 below reports results from a set of regressions of per capita FONCODES expenditures between November 1993 and March 1995 on the results of the 1993 referendum. Columns (i) through
The political economy of expenditures by the Peruvian Social Fund (FONCODES), 1991-95
  • Article
  • Full-text available

January 1999


310 Reads

The growth of young, technology-based firms has received considerable attention in the literature given their importance for the generation and creation of economic wealth. Taking a strategic management perspective, we link the entrepreneurial strategy deployed by young, technology-based firms with firm growth. In line with recent research, we consider both revenue and employment growth as they reflect different underlying value creation processes. Using a unique European dataset of research-based spin-offs, we find that firms emphasizing a product and hybrid strategy are positively associated with growth in revenues. The latter strategy also has a positive influence on the creation of additional employment. Contrary to expectation, however, we find that firms pursuing a technology strategy do not grow fast in employment. Our study sheds new light on the relationship between entrepreneurial strategy and firm growth in revenues and employment.

Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences

November 1996


478 Reads

We analyze a model of a two-candidate election with costless voting in which voters have asymmetric information and diverse preferences. We demonstrate that a strictly positive fraction of the electorate will abstain and that, nevertheless, elections effectively aggregate voters' private infomation. Using examples, Mle show that more informed voters are more likely to vote than their less informed counterparts. Increasing the fraction of the electorate that is informed, however; may lead to higher levels of abstention. We conclude by showing that a biased distribution of information can lend to a biased voting population but does not lean to biased outcomes.

Collective Action and Group Size Paradox

January 1999


452 Reads

This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection as well as empirical evidence on the effects of patent rights. Then, the second part considers the international aspects of IPR protection. In summary, this paper draws the following conclusions from the literature. Firstly, different patent policy instruments have different effects on R&D and growth. Secondly, there is empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between IPR protection and innovation, but the evidence is stronger for developed countries than for developing countries. Thirdly, the optimal level of IPR protection should tradeoff the social benefits of enhanced innovation against the social costs of multiple distortions and income inequality. Finally, in an open economy, achieving the globally optimal level of protection requires an international coordination (rather than the harmonization) of IPR protection.

Setting the Rules of the Game: The Choice of Electoral Systems in Advanced Democracies

February 1999


148 Reads

The origins of electoral systems have received scant attention in the literature. Looking at the history of electoral rules in the advanced world in the last century, this paper shows that the existing wide variation in electoral rules across nations can be traced to the strategic decisions that the current ruling parties, anticipating the coordinating consequences of different electoral regimes, make to maximize their representation according to the following conditions. On the one hand, as long as the electoral arena does not change substantially and the current electoral regime serves the ruling parties well, the latter have no incentives to modify the electoral regime. On the other hand, as soon as the electoral arena changes (due to the entry of new voters or a change in their preferences), the ruling parties will entertain changing the electoral system, depending on two main conditions: the emergence of new parties and the coordinating capacities of the old ruling parties. Accordingly, if the new parties are strong, the old parties shift from plurality/ majority rules to proportional representation (PR) only if the latter are locked into a 'non-Duvergerian' equilibrium; i.e. if no old party enjoys a dominant position (the case of most small European states) --conversely, they do not if a Duvergerian equilibrium exists (the case of Great Britain). Similarly, whenever the new entrants are weak, a non-PR system is maintained, regardless of the structure of the old party system (the case of the USA). The paper discusses as well the role of trade and ethnic and religious heterogeneity in the adoption of PR rules.

Negative Campaign Advertising: Demobilizer or Mobilizer

January 1996


72 Reads

With political campaigns becoming increasingly adversarial, scholars have recently given some much-needed attention to the impact of negative advertising on turnout.In a widely recognized Review article and subsequent book, Ansolabehere and his colleagues (1994, 1995) contend that attack advertising drives potential voters away from the polls. We dispute the generalizability of these claims outside of the experimental setting. Using NES survey data as well aggregate sources, we subject this previous research to rigorous real-world testing. The survey data directly contradict Ansolabehere et al.'s findings, yielding evidence of a turnout advantage for those recollecting negative presidential campaign advertising. In attempting to replicate Ansolabehere et al’s earlier aggregate results we uncover quite significant discrepancies and inconsistencies in their dataset. This analysis leads to the conclusion that their aggregate study is hopelessly flawed. We must conclude that attack advertising’s demobilization dangers are greatly exaggerated by Ansolabehere et al., while they completely miss negative political advertising’s turnout benefits -- at least in voters’ own context.

Party Affiliation, Partisanship, and Political Beliefs: A Field Experiment

January 2009


144 Reads

The research agendas of psychologists and economists now have several overlaps, with behavioural economics providing theoretical and experimental study of the relationship between behaviour and choice, and hedonic psychology discussing appropriate measures of outcomes of choice in terms of overall utility or life satisfaction. Here we model the relationship between values (understood as principles guiding behaviour), choices and their final outcomes in terms of life satisfaction, and use data from the BHPS to assess whether our ideas on what is important in life (individual values) are broadly connected to what we experience as important in our lives (life satisfaction).

Sophisticated Sincerity: Voting Over Endognous Agendas.

March 1987


23 Reads

The empirical findings on whether or not legislators vote strategically are mixed. This is at least partly due to the fact that to establish any hypothesis on strategic voting, legislators' preferences need to be known, and these are typically private data. I show that under complete information, if decision making is by the amendment procedure and if the agenda is set endogenously, then sophisticated (strategic) voting over the resulting agenda is observationally equivalent to sincere voting. The voting strategies, however, are sophisticated. This fact has direct implications for empirical work on sophisticated voting.

The Ecological Fallacy Revisited: Aggregate Versus Individual Level-Findings on Economics and Elections, and Sociotropic Voting

January 1982


70 Reads

Several aggregate-level studies have found a relationship between macroeconomic conditions and election outcomes, operating in intuitively plausible directions. More recent survey-based studies, however, have been unable to detect any comparable relationship operating at the individual-voter level. This persistent discrepancy is puzzling. One recently proposed explanation for it is that voters actually behave in an altruistic or “sociotropic” fashion, responding to economic events only as they affect the general welfare, rather than in terms of self-interested “pocketbook” considerations. It is argued here that the discrepancies between the macro- and microlevel studies are a statistical artifact, arising from the fact that observable changes in individual welfare actually consist of two unobservable components, a government-induced (and politically relevant) component, and an exogenous component caused by life-cycle and other politically irrelevant factors. Because of this, individual level cross-sectional estimates of the effects of welfare changes on voting are badly biased and are essentially unrelated to the true values of the behavioral parameters of interest: they will generally be considerable underestimates and may even be of the wrong sign. An aggregate-level time-series analysis, on the other hand, will often yield reasonably good (if somewhat attenuated) estimates of the underlying individual-level effects of interest. Therefore, in this case, individual behavior is best investigated with aggregate- rather than individual-level data. It is also shown that the evidence for sociotropic voting is artifactual, in the sense that the various findings and evidence which ostensibly show sociotropic behavior are all perfectly compatible with the null hypothesis of self-interested, pocketbook voting.

Incentives to Cultivate Favored Minorities Under Alternative Electoral Systems

October 1992


39 Reads

A simple model is used to compare, under different electoral systems, the incentives for candidates to create inequalities among otherwise homogeneous voters, by making campaign promises that favor small groups, rather than appealing equally to all voters. In this game model, each candidate generates offers for voters independently out of a distribution that is chosen by the candidate, subject only to the constraints that offers must be nonnegative and have mean 1. Symmetric equilibria with sincere voting are analyzed for two-candidate elections, and for multicandidate elections under rank-scoring rules, approval voting, and single transferable vote. Voting rules that can guarantee representation for minorities in multiseat elections generate, in this model, the most severely unequal campaign promises.

Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules

September 2000


145 Reads

We investigate the Baron and Ferejohn (1989) noncooperative game theoretic bargaining model of legislative equilibrium. Legislative outcomes are sensitive to formal rules specifying who may make proposals and how they will be voted on. With a random proposal recognition rule and a closed amendment rule (proposals are voted up or down with no room for amendments) the model predicts no delays in benefit allocation, that benefits will be allocated to a minimal winning coalition, and that benefits within the coalition will be strongly skewed in favor of the proposer. In contrast, with a random proposal recognition rule and an open amendment rule (proposals may be amended before they are voted on) the model predicts delays in benefit allocation, that benefits will be more evenly spread among winning coalition members, and that coalitions need not be restricted to a minimal majority. With experience we find strong qualitative support for the model's predictions: All proposals are passed without delay with the closed rule versus 81% of all proposals with the open rule. Minimal winning coalitions are effectively proposed in 67% of all cases with the closed rule versus 4% with the open rule, and benefits are more evenly distributed with open rule. Quantitative predictions of the model fail however: Most importantly, proposers consistently fail to allocate themselves anything close to what the theory predicts. Further, the probability of immediate acceptance is much higher than predicted in the open rule as proposers consistently expand the winning coalition beyond the model's prediction in attempts to limit amendments. The evolution of play over time is reported (outcomes under both treatments are much more similar early on then later). Tests show that subjects' votes in favor of a proposed allocation are significantly affected by their own share (in the expected direction) but that the distribution of shares across all voters has no significant effect.

Managing NASA in the Apollo era

February 1982


11 Reads

The administration and organization are described and analyzed. Policies on manpower and the budgetary process for contracting for research development, the structure of NASA-DOD relations, and program planning are discussed.

Assessing the Partisan Effects of Redisricting

October 1983


27 Reads

The purpose of this article is to assess the reality behind the politician's perception that redistricting matters. There are, of course, many dimensions to that perception, because redistricting has many effects. This articles focuses on the impact of boundary changes on the partisan composition of seats. In order to do this, it will be necessary to specify what the expected partisan effects of redistricting are and how they can be measured. Thus, I first explain how the impact of redistricting will vary with the strategy of particular plans and then explore some techniques for measuring the partisan impact of boundary changes. I conclude with a detailed analysis of the most important congressional redistricting in 1982--the Burton plan in California.

Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective

April 2002


365 Reads

We construct a simple model where political elites may block technological and institutional development, because of a 'political replacement effect'. Innovations often erode elites' incumbency advantage, increasing the likelihood that they will be replaced. Fearing replacement, political elites are unwilling to initiate change, and may even block economic development. We show that elites are unlikely to block development when there is a high degree of political competition, or when they are highly entrenched. It is only when political competition is limited and also their power is threatened that elites will block development. We also show that such blocking is more likely to arise when political stakes are higher, and that external threats may reduce the incentives to block. We argue that this model provides an interpretation for why Britain, Germany and the U.S. industrialized during the nineteenth century, while the landed aristocracy in Russia and Austria-Hungary blocked development.

Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence

June 1993


149 Reads

Alex Cukierman is well known for his work on central bank behavior. This book brings together a large body of Cukierman's research and integrates it with recent developments in the political economy of monetary policy. Filled with applications and carefully worked out technical detail, it provides a valuable comprehensive analysis of central bank decisions, of the various effects of policy on inflation, and of the feedback from inflationary expectations to policy choices. Cukierman uncovers and analyzes the reasons for positive inflation and rates of monetary expansion. He shows that the money supply, and therefore inflation, are not exogenous. They are influenced by interactions involving distributional considerations, private information, personal motives, and the political environment. This point of view makes it possible to identify the institutional, political, and other features of a country that may be conducive to inflationary environments. Cukierman presents new multidimensional evidence on both legal and actual central bank independence for a sample of up to 70 countries and uses it to investigate the interconnections between the distributions of inflation and of central bank independence. He takes up such issues as why some countries have more independent central banks than others and identifies reasons for the substantial cross country variation in seigniorage. He provides positive explanations for the tendency of central banks, like the US Federal Reserve, to smooth interest rates and to be secretive. Observing that it is likely that the European Economic Community will have a monetary union before the turn of the century, Cukierman applies the techniques of modern political economy to discuss the effect of this change on the commitment to price stability. The book includes simple and advanced materials as well as informal summaries of the major technical results. The introduction contains a modular guide for reading and teaching the material.

A Bargaining Model of Collective Choice

January 1999


56 Reads

We provide a general theory of collective decision making, one that relates social choices to the strategic incentives of individuals, by generalizing the Baron-F ere john (1989) model of bargaining to the multidimensional spatial model. We prove existence of stationary equilibria, upper hemicontinuity of equilibrium outcomes in structural and preference parameters, and equivalence of equilibrium outcomes and the core in certain environments, including the one-dimensional case. The model generates equilibrium predictions even when the core is empty, and it yields a "continuous" generalization of the core in some familiar environments in which the core is nonempty. As the description of institutional detail in the model is sparse, it applies to collective choice in relatively unstructured settings and provides a benchmark for the general analysis of legislative and parliamentary politics.

Demand Commitment in Legislative Bargaining

January 2005


97 Reads

We develop and implement a collocation method to solve for an equilibrium in the dynamic legislative bargaining game of Duggan and Kalandrakis (2008). We formulate the collocation equations in a quasi-discrete version of the model, and we show that the collocation equations are locally Lipchitz continuous and directionally differentiable. In numerical experiments, we successfully implement a globally convergent variant of Broyden's method on a preconditioned version of the collocation equations, and the method economizes on computation cost by more than 50% compared to the value iteration method. We rely on a continuity property of the equilibrium set to obtain increasingly precise approximations of solutions to the continuum model. We showcase these techniques with an illustration of the dynamic core convergence theorem of Duggan and Kalandrakis (2008) in a nine-player, two-dimensional model with negative quadratic preferences.

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