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Political Economy in a Changing World

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Georgy Egorov
  • Konstantin Sonin

Abstract

We provide a general framework for the analysis of the dynamics of institutional change (e.g., democratization, extension of political rights or repression of different groups), and how these dynamics interact with (anticipated and unanticipated) changes in the distribution of political power and in economic structure. We focus on the Markov Voting Equilibria, which require that economic and political changes should take place if there exists a subset of players with the power to implement such changes and who will obtain higher expected discounted utility by doing so. Assuming that economic and political institutions as well as individual types can be ordered, and preferences and the distribution of political power satisfy natural “single crossing” (increasing differences) conditions, we prove the existence of a pure-strategy equilibrium, provide conditions for its uniqueness, and present a number of comparative static results that apply at this level of generality. We then use this framework to study the dynamics of political rights and repression in the presence of radical groups that can stochastically grab power. We characterize the conditions under which the presence of radicals leads to repression (of less radical groups), show a type of path dependence in politics resulting from radicals coming to power, and identify a novel strategic complementarity in repression.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 786969000000000803.

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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000803

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  1. BARBERA, Salvador & MASCHLER, Michael & SHALEV, Jonathan, 1998. "Voting for voters: a model of electoral evolution," CORE Discussion Papers 1998022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
  3. Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2000. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," Working Papers 57, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Jack Hirshleifer & Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2007. "The Slippery Slope of Concession," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000001057, David K. Levine.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
  6. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
  7. Bruno Strulovici, 2010. "Learning While Voting: Determinants of Collective Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 933-971, 05.
  8. Paul R. Gregory & Philipp J.H. Schr oder & Konstantin Sonin, 2006. "Dictators, Repression and the Median Citizen: An “Eliminations Model” of Stalin’s Terror (Data from the NKVD Archives)," Working Papers w0091, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  9. Burkart, Mike & Wallner, Klaus, 2000. "Club Enlargement: Early Versus Late Admittance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  11. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2009. "Political Selection and Persistence of Bad Governments," NBER Working Papers 15230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
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