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Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model

  • 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. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2006 .

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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
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000534
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  1. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Public Economics 0306002, EconWPA, revised 01 Jul 2003.
  2. 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).
  3. Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000051, UCLA Department of Economics.
  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. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000876, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  10. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  11. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
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