A Theory of Government Procrastination
We present a theory to explain government procrastination as a consequence of its present-bias resulting from the political uncertainty in a two-party political system. We show that under a two-party political system the party in office tends to be present-biased. This may lead to inefficient procrastination of socially beneficial policies that carry upfront costs but yield long-term benefits. However, procrastination is often not indefinite even as we consider an infinite-horizon game. There exist equilibria in which the policy is implemented, and in many cases carried out to completion in finite time. When the net social benefit is large, there is no procrastination problem. When the net social benefit is small, the policy can be procrastinated indefinitely, though there may co-exist some gradual implementation equilibria. When the net social benefit is intermediate in magnitude, there are all sorts of procrastination equilibria, including gradual implementation. The theory predicts that a government with a more strongly predominant party tends to procrastinate less.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Marina Azzimonti, 2009.
"Barriers to investment in polarized societies,"
2009 Meeting Papers
1233, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Jinhui Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2008.
"On the 'Faustian' Dynamics of Policy and Political Power,"
gueconwpa~08-08-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Roger Lagunoff & Jinhui Bai, 2008. "On the ``Faustian Dynamics" of Policy and Political Power," 2008 Meeting Papers 456, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Jinhui Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "On the “Faustian” Dynamics of Policy and Political Power," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001627, UCLA Department of Economics.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3680. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.