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Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions

  • Roger Lagunoff

This paper studies dynamic, endogenous institutional change. We introduce the class of dynamic political games (DPGs), dynamic games in which future political aggregation rules are decided under current ones, and the resulting institutional choices do not affect payoffs or technology directly. A companion paper (Lagunoff (2005b)) establishes existence of Markov Perfect equilibria of dynamic political games. The present paper examines issues of stability and reform when such equilibria exist. Which environments tend toward institutional stability? Which tend toward reform? We show that when political rules are dynamically consistent and private sector decisions areinessential,reform never occurs: all political rules are stable. Roughly,private sector decisions are inessential if any feasible ``social' continuation payoff can achieved by public sector decisions alone. More generally, we identify sufficient conditions for stability and reform in terms of recursive self selection and recursive self denial,incentive compatibility concepts that treat the rules themselves as ``players' who can strategically delegate future policy-making authority to different institutional types. These ideas are illustrated in an example of dynamic public goods provision.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000051.

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Date of creation: 27 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000051
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. William Jack (Georgetown University) and Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-15, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
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  8. Semih Koray, 2000. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions Verify Arrow and Gibbarad- Satterthwaite Theorems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 981-996, July.
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  12. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2004. "Time-Consistent Public Expenditures," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000652, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
  14. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
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  17. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  18. repec:oup:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:1:p:33-62 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2007. "Majority Rule Dynamics with Endogenous Status Quo," Wallis Working Papers WP46, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  20. Roger Lagunoff, 1997. "A Theory of Constitutional Standards and Civil Liberty," Game Theory and Information 9707004, EconWPA.
  21. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," IZA Discussion Papers 2225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Wallis Working Papers WP36, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  23. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
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  25. Manuel Amador, 2004. "A Political Model Sovereign Debt Repayment," 2004 Meeting Papers 762, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  27. Lagunoff, Roger, 1992. "Fully Endogenous Mechanism Selection on Finite Outcome Sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 465-80, October.
  28. Egorov, Georgy & Sonin, Konstantin, 2005. "The Killing Game: Reputation and Knowledge in Non-Democratic Succession," CEPR Discussion Papers 5092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  30. John P. Conley & Akram Temimi, 2001. "Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 79-102, February.
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