Abstract. We verify the predictions of the theoretical literature on the relationship between political competition and economic performance, holding that, when the predominance of an ideological dimension creates a political rent, the party exploiting it selects lower quality politicians whose policy choices worsen economic performance. We examine the sample of 15 Italian Regions from 1980 to 2002 that exploits the institutional reforms of 1995 as an exogenous shock to pre-existing rents. We find evidence that higher political competition improves economic performance, through the choice of more efficiency-oriented policies.
Padovano, F., Ricciuti, R. (2009). Political Competition and Economic Performance: Evidence from the Italian Regions. PUBLIC CHOICE, 138, 263-277 [10.1007/s11127-008-9358-y].