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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
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8533
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  1. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2010. "The political cost of reforms," Economics Working Papers 1250, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2011.
  2. 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.
  3. Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "The Form of Property Rights: Oligarchic vs. Democratic Societies," NBER Working Papers 10037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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