NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Barry Weingast

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

Working Papers and Chapters

December 2010The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences
with Sonia Mittal, Jack N. Rakove
in Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s, Douglas A. Irwin and Richard Sylla, editors
December 2006A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History
with Douglass C North, John Joseph Wallis: w12795
Neither economics nor political science can explain the process of modern social development. The fact that developed societies always have developed economies and developed polities suggests that the connection between economics and politics must be a fundamental part of the development process. This paper develops an integrated theory of economics and politics. We show how, beginning 10,000 years ago, limited access social orders developed that were able to control violence, provide order, and allow greater production through specialization and exchange. Limited access orders provide order by using the political system to limit economic entry to create rents, and then using the rents to stabilize the political system and limit violence. We call this type of political economy arrange...

Published: North, Douglas, John Joseph Wallis, and Barry Weingast. Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

June 2005Equilibrium Impotence: Why the States and Not the American National Government Financed Economic Development in the Antebellum Era
with John Joseph Wallis: w11397
Why did states dominate investments in economic development in early America? Between 1787 and 1860, the national government%u2019s $54 million on promoting transportation infrastructure while the states spent $450 million. Using models of legislative choice, we show that Congress could not finance projects that provided benefits to a minority of districts while spreading the taxes over all. Although states faced the same political problems, they used benefit taxation schemes -- for example, by assessing property taxes on the basis of the expected increase in value due to an infrastructure investment. The U.S. Constitution prohibited the federal government from using benefit taxation. Moreover, the federal government%u2019s expenditures were concentrated in collections small projects -- s...
January 1991Political Foundations of the Thrift Debacle
with Thomas Romer
in Politics and Economics in the Eighties, Alberto Alesina and Geoffrey Carliner, editors

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

 
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