Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Economics, PhD


School of Politics and Economics

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Arthur T. Denzau

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas E. Borcherding

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Paul J. Zak

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Darren Filson

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Marco Alejandro Pérez-Mares


Policy responsiveness to the demands of the whole is important because it is a determinant of growth and development: Institutions that make governments more inclusive favor economic progress and factors that make governments more exclusive inhibit prosperity. Growth-enhancing policies likely to please the citizenry include policies that ensure the prevalence of the rule of law, policies that protect property and intellectual rights, and policies that foster competition, access and the perfection of markets. In contrast, growth-retarding policies likely to initiate from the representation efforts of politicians advancing narrow concerns include infringement on property rights, diffuse patent legislation, regulation to rise some price or wage, regulation blocking the entry into specific markets, official protection to monopolistic markets and adoption of legal barriers against international competition.

If policy responsiveness to the interests of the whole favors economic affluence, what political institutions matter for the advancement of wide-encompassing interests through the policy making process? This dissertation examines the idea that the incentives provided by the intra-party candidate selection methods are crucial in order to understand the politicians' representation efforts. Expressly, increasing participation and democratization of the intra-party nomination process increase the incumbent's propensity to represent wide-encompassing interests and adopt policies that favor economic affluence. In contrast, elite-centered nomination methods decrease the incumbent's incentive to be politically responsive to the interests of the whole in favor of the representation of narrow concerns that often demand policies that benefit the group at the expense of overall economic growth.

Empirically, the idea that aspirants to party tickets must first respond to the demands of those with the power to add their names to the electoral ballot finds robust support. In the developed world, candidate nomination appears largely informed by inclusive and democratic practices. Quite the opposite, in the less-developed world events of intraparty participatory politics are for the most part absent, with nomination decisions often monopolized by national party leaders and local party bosses.