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Political Economy in a Changing World

  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Georgy Egorov
  • Konstantin Sonin

We provide a general framework for the analysis of the dynamics of institutional change (e.g., democratization), and how this interacts with (anticipated and unanticipated) changes in the distribution of political power and changes in economic structure. We focus on the Markov voting equilibria, which require that economic and political changes should take place if there exists a subset of players with the power to implement such changes and who will obtain higher expected continuation utility by doing so. Assuming that economic and political institutions as well as individual types can be ordered, and preferences and the distribution of political power satisfy a natural "single crossing" condition, we prove the existence of pure-strategy equilibrium, provide conditions for its uniqueness, and present a number of comparative static results that apply at this level of generality. We then use this framework to study the dynamics of political rights and repression in the presence of radical groups that can stochastically grab power depending on the distribution of political rights in society. We characterize the conditions under which the presence of radicals leads to repression, show a type of path dependence in politics resulting from radicals coming to power, and identify a novel strategic complementarity in repression.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 786969000000000803.

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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000803
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2010. "Political Selection and Persistence of Bad Governments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1511-1575, November.
  2. Jack Hirshleifer & Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2009. "The Slippery Slope Of Concession," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 197-205, 04.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
  4. Michael C. Munger, 2001. "Voting," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, chapter 9 Edward Elgar.
  5. 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).
  6. Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2000. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," Working Papers 57, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132, 01.
  8. Burkart, Mike & Wallner, Klaus, 2000. "Club Enlargement: Early Versus Late Admittance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
  10. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  11. Paul R. Gregory & Philipp J.H. Schr oder & Konstantin Sonin, 2006. "Dictators, Repression and the Median Citizen: An “Eliminations Model” of Stalin’s Terror (Data from the NKVD Archives)," Working Papers w0091, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  12. 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.
  13. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Bruno Strulovici, 2008. "Learning while voting: determinants of collective experimentation," Economics Papers 2008-W08, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  16. James D. Fearon, 2004. "Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer than Others?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 275-301, May.
  17. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
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