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Political Economy of Mechanisms


  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Mikhail Golosov
  • Aleh Tsyvinski


We study the provision of dynamic incentives to self-interested politicians who control the allocation of resources in the context of the standard neoclassical growth model. Citizens discipline politicians using elections. We show that the need to provide incentives to the politician in power creates political economy distortions in the structure of production, which resemble aggregate tax distortions. We provide conditions under which the political economy distortions persist or disappear in the long run. If the politicians are as patient as the citizens, the best subgame perfect equilibrium leads to an asymptotic allocation where the aggregate distortions arising from political economy disappear. In contrast, when politicians are less patient than the citizens, political economy distortions remain asymptotically and lead to positive aggregate labor and capital taxes. Copyright Copyright 2008 by The Econometric Society.
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  • Daron Acemoglu & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2007. "Political Economy of Mechanisms," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000886, UCLA Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000886

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    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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