Political Institutions and Agricultural Protection: Theoretical Explanations and Empirical Evidence from TSCS-data


Inspired by the work of Persson and Tabellini this projects analyses how formal and informal political institutions impact on agricultural policy outcomes. At theoretical level a probabilistic voter models is integrated with legislative bargaining models to analyze how the interplay of formal constitutional rules, i.e. electoral rules and the governmental system, with informal institutions, i.e. legislative norms or interest group influence, determine agricultural protection. In particular, a theory of agricultural protection in parliamentary and presidential systems combined with majoritarian, mixed or proportional representation systems will be developed. Moreover, a theory of agricultural political decision-making in the EU-system will be developed including specific informal legislative norms organizing political exchange between national member states like the Luxembourg compromise. Given the fact that existing political economy models fail to explain observed large cross-country differences in agricultural protection among industrialized or among developing countries, respectively. Thus, one central target of the new developed theory is certainly to provide an explanation for these observed variation in protection. In the empirical part of the project we test our theory using time-series cross-country data for about 75 countries. Our econometric specification will account for several problems using time-series cross-country data, i.e. serially correlation and unobserved country heterogeneity. Additionally, it will be tested to what extend advanced econometric techniques can be applied that allow the identification of true causal effects of political institutions.

Project Director:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian H.C.A. Henning
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Germany

Dr. Christian Aßmann
Chair of Statistics and Econometrics, University of Bamberg, Germany

Project Assistant:

M.Sc.agr. Eva Krampe
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Germany

Project funding:


Project duration:



Work Packages

Work package 1:

Constitutional Rules, Legislative Norms and Agricultural Policy Outcomes in the EU-System

Work package 2:

Electoral Systems and Agricultural Protection: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Parliamentary Democracies

Work package 3:

Constitutional Rules, Informal Institutions and Agricultural Protection in Developing and Industrial Countries: Theory and Empirical Evidence