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Power fluctuations and political economy

Author

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  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Golosov, Mikhail
  • Tsyvinski, Aleh

Abstract

We study (constrained) Pareto efficient allocations in a dynamic production economy where the group that holds political power decides the allocation of resources. For high discount factors, the economy converges to a first-best allocation where labor supply decisions are not distorted. For low discount factors, distortions do not disappear and fluctuate over time. Most importantly, the set of sustainable first-best allocations is larger when there is less persistence in the identity of the party in power (because this encourages political compromise). This result contradicts the common presumption that there will be fewer distortions when there is a "stable ruling group".

Suggested Citation

  • Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Power fluctuations and political economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1009-1041, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:3:p:1009-1041
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    Cited by:

    1. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1994. "Recursive contracts," Economics Working Papers 337, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1998.
    2. Gilles Saint‐Paul & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2016. "A Theory of Political Entrenchment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 1238-1263, June.
    3. Ying Chen & Hülya Eraslan, 2017. "Dynamic Agenda Setting," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 1-32, May.
    4. Leonid Polishchuk & Georgiy Syunyaev, 2015. "Ruling elites’ rotation and asset ownership: implications for property rights," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 159-182, January.
    5. T. Renee Bowen & Ying Chen & H?lya Eraslan, 2014. "Mandatory versus Discretionary Spending: The Status Quo Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 2941-2974, October.
    6. Bowen, T. Renee & Chen, Ying & Eraslan, Hülya & Zápal, Jan, 2017. "Efficiency of flexible budgetary institutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 148-176.
    7. Golosov, M. & Tsyvinski, A. & Werquin, N., 2016. "Recursive Contracts and Endogenously Incomplete Markets," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    8. repec:eee:jetheo:v:175:y:2018:i:c:p:624-651 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2016. "Continuous Markov equilibria with quasi-geometric discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 467-494.
    10. Thomas, Jonathan P. & Worrall, Tim, 2018. "Dynamic relational contracts under complete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 624-651.
    11. Corbae, Dean & Marimon, Ramon, 2011. "Introduction to Incompleteness and Uncertainty in Economics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 775-784, May.
    12. Marina Azzimonti, 2016. "The Politics of FDI Expropriation," NBER Working Papers 22705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. Grechyna, Daryna, 2017. "Public Policy Against Political Frictions," MPRA Paper 76396, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Grechyna, Daryna, 2015. "Quantifying the Impact of Political Frictions on Public Policy," MPRA Paper 65266, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Grechyna, Daryna, 2016. "Political frictions and public policy outcomes," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 484-495.
    17. Kloosterman, Andrew, 2015. "Public information in Markov games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 28-48.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Commitment problem Dynamic political economy Olson-McGuire hypothesis Political compromise Political economy Political power;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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