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Can Market Failure Cause Political Failure

  • Aney, Madhav
  • Ghatak, Maitreesh
  • Morelli, Massimo

We study how inefficiencies of market failure may be further amplified by political choices made by interest groups created in the inefficient market. We take an occupational choice framework, where agents are endowed heterogeneously with wealth and talent. In our model, market failure due to unobservability of talent endogenously creates a class structure that affects voting on institutional reform. In contrast to the world without market failure where the electorate unanimously vote in favour of surplus maximising institutional reform, we find that the preferences of these classes are often aligned in ways that creates a tension between surplus maximising and politically feasible institutional reforms.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8533.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8533
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  1. Marcel Boyer & Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1999. "Toward a Political Theory of the Emergence of Environmental Incentive Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(1), pages 137-157, Spring.
  2. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
  3. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2010. "The Political Cost of Reforms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 847.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 30 May 2011.
  4. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  5. Enrico Perotti & Paolo Volpin, 2004. "Lobbying on Entry," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-088/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "The Form of Property Rights: Oligarchic vs. Democratic Societies," NBER Working Papers 10037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal & Dilip Mookherjee, 2010. "The Political Economy of Debt Bondage," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 44-84, August.
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