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Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model

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  • William Jack
  • Roger Lagunoff

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of political institutions in the face of conflict. We examine institutional reform in a class of pivotal mechanisms — institutions that behave as if the resulting policy were determined by a “pivotal” decision maker drawn from the potential population of citizens and who holds full policy-making authority at the time. A rule-of-succession describes the process by which pivotal decision makers in period t + 1 are, themselves, chosen by pivotal decision makers in period t. Two sources of conflict - class conflict, arising from differences in wealth, and ideological conflict, arising from differences in preferences are examined. In each case, we characterize the unique Markov Perfect Equilibrium of the associated dynamic political game, and show that public decision-making authority evolves monotonically downward in wealth and upward in ideological predisposition toward the public good. We then examine rules-of-succession when ideology and wealth exhibit correlation. Classification-JEL Codes: C73, D72, D78

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000534.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000534

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References

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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. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  3. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  4. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfrachisement," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  7. Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0501003, EconWPA.
  8. 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.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0505006, EconWPA.
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Cited by:
  1. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 5555, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000876, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Jinhui Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "On the “Faustian” Dynamics of Policy and Political Power," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001627, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Angeles, Luis, 2008. "Democratization as a cost-saving device," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-54, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  5. Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Dynamic Reform of Political Institutions," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 47, Econometric Society.
  6. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2014. "Violence during democratization and the quality of democratic institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 226-247.

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