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Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model

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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 Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~05-05-15.

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Date of creation: 15 May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~05-05-15

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Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Postal: Marcia Suss Administrative Officer Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Web: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

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Keywords: Social Conflict; Rule of Succession; Dynamic political game;

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References

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  1. Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000051, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  7. Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0501003, EconWPA.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. 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).
  10. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  11. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jinhui H. Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2011. "On the Faustian Dynamics of Policy and Political Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 17-48.
  4. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
  5. Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000876, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Dynamic Reform of Political Institutions," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Luis Angeles, 2008. "Democratization as a cost-saving device," Working Papers 2008_31, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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