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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 & Trebbi, Francesco, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Scholarly Articles 4481498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  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. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1011-1048, August.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2007. "A Solution Concept for Majority Rule in Dynamic Settings," Discussion Papers 07-029, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," IZA Discussion Papers 2225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Salvador Barberà & Michael Maschler & Jonathan Shalev, 1998. "Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution," Game Theory and Information 9804001, EconWPA.
  8. Roger Lagunoff, 2002. "Credible Communication in Dynastic Government," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Lagunoff, Roger, 2001. "A Theory of Constitutional Standards and Civil Liberty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 109-32, January.
  11. Roger Lagunoff & William Jack, 2004. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 24, Econometric Society.
  12. Lagunoff, Roger, 1992. "Fully Endogenous Mechanism Selection on Finite Outcome Sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 465-80, October.
  13. 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.
  14. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2007. "Majority Rule Dynamics with Endogenous Status Quo," Wallis Working Papers WP46, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  15. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-46, April.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  17. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Semih Koray, 2000. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions Verify Arrow and Gibbarad- Satterthwaite Theorems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 981-996, July.
  19. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2004. "Time-Consistent Public Expenditures," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000652, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. 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.
  21. Montrucchio, Luigi, 1987. "Lipschitz continuous policy functions for strongly concave optimization problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 259-273, June.
  22. Gomes, Armando R & Jehiel, Philippe, 2001. "Dynamic Processes of Social and Economic Interactions: On the Persistence of Inefficiencies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  24. Justman, Moshe & Gradstein, Mark, 1999. "The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-127, April.
  25. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  26. 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.
  27. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
  28. Manuel Amador, 2004. "A Political Model Sovereign Debt Repayment," 2004 Meeting Papers 762, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  29. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2002:i:4:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
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