Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

On the “Faustian” Dynamics of Policy and Political Power

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jinhui Bai
  • Roger Lagunoff

Abstract

Because the current ruler cannot un-couple the direct effect of his policy from its indirect effect on future power, a transfer of power can result in equilibrium. We refer to this as a case of policy-endogenous (PE) political power, and the associated Markov equilibria as PE equilibria. In a PE equilibrium, the current political ruler finds it necessary to craft a "Faustian bargain" from the following trade-off: if he chooses his preferred policy, then he sacrifices future political power; yet if he wants to preserve his future power, he must sacrifice his present policy objectives. We show that these motives can be decomposed into two basic rationales. The political preservation effect induces the authority to choose "more conservatively" than if his policy choice did not affect his political fortunes. However, the reformation effect induces less conservative choices in order to exploit the gains from policies of more aggressive successors. The balance of these effects produces what we call Faustian dynamics: conservative individual decisions that are consistent with progressive outcome paths resulting from an evolution of political power toward more progressive types. Faustian dynamics are illustrated in a parametric model of public investment and income inequality.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/lagunofr/dynam-inconsist7.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000001627.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 31 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001627

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Barbera, S. & Maschler, M. & Shalev, J., 2001. "Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 40-78, October.
  2. Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 1997. "On the size of U.S. government: political economy in the neoclassical growth model," Staff Report 234, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2007. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," Working Papers 07-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  4. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  5. Stephen Coate & Marco Battaglini, 2005. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policy-Making: A Dynamic Analysis," 2005 Meeting Papers 209, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 1999. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1886, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-geometric Discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 42-72, July.
  8. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 703-725, December.
  9. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. John R. Lott & Jr. & Lawrence W. Kenny, 1999. "Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1163-1198, December.
  12. Horst, Ulrich, 2005. "Stationary equilibria in discounted stochastic games with weakly interacting players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 83-108, April.
  13. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Spolaore, Enrico, 1994. "How cynical can an incumbent be? Strategic policy in a model of government spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 121-140, September.
  14. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
  15. MERTENS, Jean-François, . "Stochastic games," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1587, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  16. Armo Gomes & Philippe Jehiel, 2001. "Dynamic Processes of Social and Economic Interactions: On the Persistence of Inefficiencies," Penn CARESS Working Papers 76ff153ae29996d16c454e473, Penn Economics Department.
  17. Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000251, David K. Levine.
  18. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions As The Fundamental Cause Of Long-Run Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002889, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  20. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1991. "Factor Shares and Savings In Endogenous Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 576, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  22. U. Horst & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Equilibria in Systems of Social Interactions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000119, David K. Levine.
  23. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132, 01.
  24. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-V�ctor R�os-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
  25. Kevin Roberts, 1999. "Dynamic Voting in Clubs," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 367, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  26. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," IZA Discussion Papers 2225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  28. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 1998. "On the political economy of immigration and income redistribution," Working Papers 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  29. Bhaskar, V. & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2002. "Asynchronous Choice and Markov Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 334-350, April.
  30. MERTENS, Jean-François & PARTHASARATHY, T., . "Equilibria for discounted stochastic games," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1666, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  31. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 705-763, May.
  32. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Are consumption taxes really better than income taxes?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 475-503, June.
  33. Amir, Rabah, 1996. "Continuous Stochastic Games of Capital Accumulation with Convex Transitions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 111-131, August.
  34. Campante, Filipe R., 2011. "Redistribution in a model of voting and campaign contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 646-656, August.
  35. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
  36. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-93, March.
  37. George Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2005. "The Killing Game: Reputation and Knowledge in Non-Democratic Succession," Economics Working Papers 0054, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  38. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2004. "Time-Consistent Public Expenditures," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000652, UCLA Department of Economics.
  39. 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.
  40. B. D. Bernheim & S. N. Slavov, 2009. "A Solution Concept for Majority Rule in Dynamic Settings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 33-62.
  41. Marina Azzimonti Renzo, 2004. "On the dynamic inefficiency of governments," 2004 Meeting Papers 228, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  42. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  43. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
  44. Manuel Amador, 2004. "A Political Model Sovereign Debt Repayment," 2004 Meeting Papers 762, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  45. Justman, Moshe & Gradstein, Mark, 1999. "The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-127, April.
  46. Ortega, Francesc, 2005. "Immigration quotas and skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1841-1863, September.
  47. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  48. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  49. Montrucchio, Luigi, 1987. "Lipschitz continuous policy functions for strongly concave optimization problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 259-273, June.
  50. Curtat, Laurent O., 1996. "Markov Equilibria of Stochastic Games with Complementarities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 177-199, December.
  51. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai, 2013. "Politico-Economic Inequality and the Comovement of Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 565-580, October.
  2. Battaglini, Marco, 2014. "A dynamic theory of electoral competition," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
  3. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai, 2010. "Government Purchases Over the Business Cycle: the Role of Economic and Political Inequality," NBER Working Papers 16247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marina Azzimonti, 2011. "The dynamics of public investment under persistent electoral advantage," Working Papers 11-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. marina, azzimonti, 2009. "Barriers to investment in polarized societies," MPRA Paper 25936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Evrenk, Haldun, 2011. "Why a clean politician supports dirty politics: A game-theoretical explanation for the persistence of political corruption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 498-510.
  7. Marina Azzimonti, 2010. "Political ideology as a source of business cycles," 2010 Meeting Papers 647, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "The option to wait in collective decisions and optimal majority rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 524-540.
  9. Taiji Furusawa & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2011. "A Theory of Government Procrastination," CESifo Working Paper Series 3680, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Rüdiger Bachmann & Jinhui H. Bai, 2013. "Public consumption over the business cycle," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(3), pages 417-451, November.
  11. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001627. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David K. Levine).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.