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Clientelism, income inequality, and social preferences: an evolutionary approach to poverty traps

  • Jorge Andrés Gallego Durán

    ()

  • Rafal Raciborski

    ()

Political clientelism is a dyadic relation in which a politician (the patron) gives material goods and services to a citizen (the client), in exchange for political support. We argue that there is a two-way relation between clientelism and income inequality and poverty. In a poor society in which income inequality is high, clientelism will be a natural outcome. Once clientelism is established, it is harder for democracy to redistribute income and it is easier for the society to be caught in a poverty trap. We develop a two-part game-theoretic model. In the first part, clientelism emerges in a poor and unequal society as a consequence of social preferences, in particular, strong reciprocity. In the second part, using evolutionary and stochastic game theory, we show that clientelism causes income inequality and poverty.

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Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ in its series DOCUMENTOS DE ECONOMÍA with number 004717.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 07 Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:col:000108:004717
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  1. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  2. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Cabrales, Antonio, 2000. "Stochastic Replicator Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 451-81, May.
  5. T. Borgers & R. Sarin, 2010. "Learning Through Reinforcement and Replicator Dynamics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 380, David K. Levine.
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  8. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  9. Robinson, James A & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  11. Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles & Robert T. Boyd & Ernst Fehr (ed.), 2006. "Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572370, June.
  12. P. Taylor & L. Jonker, 2010. "Evolutionarily Stable Strategies and Game Dynamics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 457, David K. Levine.
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