Academic Seminar with Stefan Voigt

Séminaire académique La Chaire Recherche

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Academic invited speakerStefan Voigt

Theme : "Culture and constitutional compliance"
Based on a paper co-authored with Jerg Gutmann, Anna Lewczuk, Jacek Lewkowicz


Constitutions 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. Here, we ask if culture matters for constitutional compliance. We develop a number of hypotheses regarding which cultural traits should be conducive to constitutional compliance and test them in a cross-section of countries. Our empirical results suggest that societies with individualistic and non-hierarchical 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. 


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