IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Do Governments Lack “Political Will� An Explanation

  • Ajit Karnik

This paper proposes “lack of political will†as the most important reason why a ruling political party is unable to commit itself to economically efficient choices or policies. The notion of political will is explicated using concepts from the transactioncosts perspective. The paper models the interactions between an interest group and the ruling party on the one hand and between general electorate and the ruling party on the other as quid pro quo relationships or transactions. In the first type of transaction, the ruling party offers the interest group of favourable policy (say, subsidised public sector output) in exchange for political support. In the second transaction, the ruling party offers the general electorate subsidised welfare amenities (say, basic health care) in exchange for political support. The analysis in the paper shows that the transaction-costs associated with the interest group-ruling party exchange will be lower than the transaction-costs in the case of the general electorate-ruling party exchange. Consequently, the ruling party will implement policies which are inefficient for the point of view of the economy but which work to the benefit of the interest group.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:102.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:102
Note: Institutional Papers
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Padma Prakash)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.