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Political Institutions and the Dynamics of Public Investment

Author

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  • Marco Battaglini
  • Salvatore Nunnari
  • Thomas R. Palfrey

Abstract

We present a theoretical model of the provision of a durable public good over an infinite horizon. In each period, there is a societal endowment of which each of n districts owns a share. This endowment can either be invested in the public good or consumed. We characterize the planner's optimal solution and time path of investment and consumption. We then consider alternative political mechanisms for deciding on the time path, and analyze the Markov perfect equilibrium of these mechanisms. One class of these mechanisms involves a legislature where representatives of each district bargain with each other to decide how to divide the current period's societal endowment between investment in the public good and transfers to each district. The second class of mechanisms involves the districts making independent decisions for how to divide their own share of the endowment between consumption and investment. We conduct an experiment to assess the performance of these mechanisms, and compare the observed allocations to the Markov perfect equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Battaglini & Salvatore Nunnari & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "Political Institutions and the Dynamics of Public Investment," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 142, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:142
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Battaglini & Salvatore Nunnari & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2016. "The Dynamic Free Rider Problem: A Laboratory Study," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 268-308, November.
    2. Steven A. Matthews, 2008. "Achievable Outcomes of Dynamic Contribution Games, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 20 Jun 2011.
    3. Marco Battaglini & Thomas Palfrey, 2012. "The dynamics of distributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(3), pages 739-777, April.
    4. Guillaume Fr├ęchette & John Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2012. "Pork versus public goods: an experimental study of public good provision within a legislative bargaining framework," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(3), pages 779-800, April.
    5. Neyapti, Bilin & Bulut-Cevik, Zeynep Burcu, 2014. "Fiscal efficiency, redistribution and welfare," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 375-382.
    6. Chloe Tergiman, 2015. "Institution design and public good provision: an experimental study of the vote of confidence procedure," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 697-717, December.
    7. Tiezzi, Silvia & Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Time Delay and Support for Taxation," MPRA Paper 51233, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Battaglini, Marco, 2014. "A dynamic theory of electoral competition," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
    9. Ruiz-Tagle, J. Cristolbal, 2012. "Dynamic Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods with Stock Accumulation," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124921, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic political economy; voting; public goods; bargaining; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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