Why Are Market Economies Politically Stable? A Theory of Capitalist Cohesion
AbstractThe present paper documents that political stability is positively associated with the extent of domestic trade. In explaining this regularity, we provide a model where political cohesion is linked to the emergence of a fully functioning market economy. Without market exchange, the welfare of inherently selfish individuals will be mutually independent. As a result, political negotiations, echoing the preferences of the citizens of society, will be dog-eat-dog in nature. Whoever has greater bargaining power will be willing to make decisions that enhance the productivity of his supporters at the expense of other groups in society. If the gains from specialization become sufficiently large, however, a market economy will emerge. From being essentially non-cooperative under self-sufficiency, the political decision making process becomes cooperative in the market economy, as the welfare of individuals will be mutually interdependent due to the exchange of good.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0765.
Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Political cohesion; Economic growth;
Other versions of this item:
- Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "Why Are Market Economies Politically Stable? A Theory of Capitalist Cohesion," Working Papers in Economics 280, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2008-06-13 (Development)
- NEP-HPE-2008-06-13 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-POL-2008-06-13 (Positive Political Economics)
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