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Meritocracy, Egalitarianism and the Stability of Majoritarian Organizations

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  • Salvador Barberà
  • Carmen Beviá
  • Clara Ponsatí

Abstract

Egalitarianism and meritocracy are competing principles to distribute the joint benefits of cooperation. We examine the consequences of letting members of society vote between those two principles, in a context where groups of a certain size must be formed in order for individuals to become productive. Our setup induces a hedonic game of coalition formation. We study the existence of core stable partitions (organizational structures) of this game. We show that the inability of voters to commit to one distributional rule or another is a potential source of instability. But we also prove that, when stable organizational structures exist, they may be rich in form, and different than those predicted by alternative models of group formation. Non- segregated groups may arise within core stable structures. Stability is also compatible with the coexistence of meritocratic and egalitarian groups. These phenomena are robust, and persist under alternative variants of our initial model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 737.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:737

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Keywords: egalitarianism; meritocracy; coalition formation; hedonic games; core stability; assortative mating;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2012. "Can't We All Be More Like Scandinavians? Asymmetric Growth and Institutions in an Interdependent World," NBER Working Papers 18441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Iehle, Vincent, 2007. "The core-partition of a hedonic game," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 176-185, September.
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  7. Marek Pycia, 2012. "Stability and Preference Alignment in Matching and Coalition Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 323-362, 01.
  8. Nico A. Hansen & Anke S. Kessler, 2001. "The Political Geography of Tax H(e)avens and Tax Hells," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1103-1115, September.
  9. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  10. Haimanko, Ori & Le Breton, Michel & Weber, Shlomo, 2004. "Voluntary formation of communities for the provision of public projects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 1-34, March.
  11. Ettore Damiano & Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2010. "First In Village Or Second In Rome?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 263-288, 02.
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