Political Constraint Dataset (POLCON)
Witold Henisz, “The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth,” Economics and Politics, XII (2000), 1–31.
Henisz develops a measure of institutional commitment that is objective, extensive, and based in positive political theory. He uses a quantitative model to capture the competitiveness portion of the definition of democracy (competitiveness and participation) with a proxy of number of independent veto points over policy outcomes and distribution of preferences of those actors. The measure is objective, with clear rules for measurement and aggregation, however it incorporates some of the Polity data coding for “independent judiciary” that gives it a slight subjective bias. POLCON is based on strong assumptions about each actor’s veto power. The measures are strongly correlated with the ICRG indexes and the Polity “Executive Constraint” index.
“The new release of the political constraint dataset expands the scope of coverage to as many as 234 countries over the period 1800–2001. It also corrects a small number of computational, coding and factual errors in the previous release. The new database also includes country codes from the Cross-national time series data archive, Polity and the World Bank to facilitate matching this dataset to other international datasets that you may have. Finally, it contains the component variables used to construct the political constraint indexes.”
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