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On the Political Economy of Sequential Reforms

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  • CASTRO, Rui
  • COEN-PIRANI, Daniele

Abstract

This paper proposes an explanation for why efficient reforms are not carried out when losers have the power to block their implementation, even though compensating them is feasible. We construct a signaling model with two-sided incomplete information in which a government faces the task of sequentially implementing two reforms by bargaining with interest groups. The organization of interest groups is endogenous. Compensations are distortionary and government types differ in the concern about distortions. We show that, when compensations are allowed to be informative about the government’s type, there is a bias against the payment of compensations and the implementation of reforms. This is because paying high compensations today provides incentives for some interest groups to organize and oppose subsequent reforms with the only purpose of receiving a transfer. By paying lower compensations, governments attempt to prevent such interest groups from organizing. However, this comes at the cost of reforms being blocked by interest groups with relatively high losses.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/361
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2001-21.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2001-21

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Keywords: reforms; interest grou; comnsations; retation;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-59, March.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  6. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 541-68, October.
  7. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  9. Krusell, P. & Rios-Rull, J.V., 1993. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Papers 547, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  11. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Monopoly rights: a barrier to riches," Staff Report 236, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Dewatripont, M & Roland, G, 1992. "Economic Reform and Dynamic Political Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 703-30, October.
  13. Rui Castro & Daniele Coen-Pirani, . "Reform Implementation Under Sequential Bargaining," GSIA Working Papers 2001-E6, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  14. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Mitja Cok & Polona Domadenik & Tjasa Redek & Miroslav Verbic, 2009. "Labour market reforms in the context of political power theory: The case of Slovenia," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 57-82.

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