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Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model

Listed author(s):
  • William Jack
  • Roger Lagunoff

This paper studies the evolution of political institutions in the face of conflict. We examine institutional reform in a class of pivotal mechanisms -- institutions that behave as if the resulting policy were determined by a "pivotal" decision maker drawn from the potential population of citizens and who holds full policy-making authority at the time. A rule-of-succession describes the process by which pivotal decision makers in period t + 1 are, themselves, chosen by pivotal decision makers in period t. Two sources of conflict - class conflict, arising from differences in wealth, and ideological conflict, arising from differences in preferences are examined. In each case, we characterize the unique Markov Perfect Equilibrium of the associated dynamic political game, and show that public decision-making authority evolves monotonically downward in wealth and upward in ideological predisposition toward the public good. We then examine rules-of-succession when ideology and wealth exhibit correlation.

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File URL: http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/lagunofr/franch-scan5.pdf
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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000534.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2005
Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000534
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-330, March.
  2. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  3. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  6. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
  7. Barbera, S. & Maschler, M. & Shalev, J., 2001. "Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 40-78, October.
  8. Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0501003, EconWPA.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  10. 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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