In our next NOUS Spotlight, Stefan Voigt will present his work on “Culture and Constitutional Compliance”.
Institutions as the formal foundation of a country’s legal and political system have important economic and political effects. Yet, there is only scant knowledge about why constitutions set effective constraints on politicians in some societies, while being largely disregarded in others. Stefan Voigt and his coauthors ask if culture matters for constitutional compliance. They develop a number of hypotheses regarding which cultural traits should be conducive to constitutional compliance, before testing them in a cross-section of countries. The empirical results suggest that societies with individualistic and nonhierarchical cultures exhibit higher levels of compliance with the constitution. These findings suggest a novel transmission channel from cultural traits to long-term economic development: making constitutional promises credible. This is new evidence that the functionality of formal institutions depends on the informal institutional environment in which they are embedded.
This event will be moderated by Pete Boettke (George Mason University, USA).
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See you there!