Economic Politics: The Costs of Democracy

William R. Keech


An accessible synthesis of a large body of material, Economic Politics raises and addresses questions about the consequences of democratic institutions for economic performance. Drawing on concrete and observable experience in the United States, with occasional reference to other countries, William Keech suggests that there are modest and bearable costs of democratic procedures, comparable to the agency costs incurred whenever a principal delegates authority to an agent. Democracy, according to Keech, does not systematically cause inferior macroeconomic policy detrimental to a population's long-term welfare. Rather, there is a logical circularity among voter preferences, institutions, and economic and political outcomes.

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