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Weingast: The economic role of political institutions

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Weingast. 1995. The economic role of political institutions: Market-Preserving federalism and economic development. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 11 (1): 1-31..

In brief: In a thriving market, you need both a well-designed economic system and a political system that "limits the ability of the state to confiscate wealth:" in other words, "limited government, that is, political institutions that credibly commit the state to honor economic and political rights." Federalism was a key element in the economic rise of England and the US. It is also helping China's recent growth.

Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects


Weingast, Barry (author)Comparative PoliticsFederalismDevelopmentGrowthCredible Commitment

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