Divide and Conquer: Noisy Communication in Networks, Power, and Wealth Distribution
In a society composed of a ruler and its citizens: what are the determinants of the political equilibrium between these two? This paper approaches this problem as a game played between a ruler who has to decide the distribution of the aggregate income and a group of agents/citizens who have the opportunity to revolt if they are unhappy with the distribution. Nevertheless, if too few revolt, the agents become defeated and receive zero consumption, while a successful revolt increases the consumption level of the rebels whereas the ruler receives nothing. Coordinated action by citizens is possible because they form nodes in a communication network. However, communication through the network is noisy, which removes common knowledge about the endowments and could preclude the emergence of collective action among citizens. In this paper, I argue that the network structure and the noise level are determinants of the political equilibrium and wealth distribution. The model explains how the ruler could use propaganda, cooptation and repression to increase his expected utility. The formalization of the game is accomplished using such concepts as p-beliefs and p-dominant strategy (Monderer and Samet, 1989, and Morris and Shin, 2002). Finally, I illustrate the model by applying it to cases in Nigeria and Zaire/Congo.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2004|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Corso Magenta, 63 - 20123 Milan|
Web page: http://www.feem.it/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daron Acemoglu, 2002.
"Why Not a Political Coase Theorem? Social Conflict, Commitment and Politics,"
NBER Working Papers
9377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron, 2003. "Why not a political Coase theorem? Social conflict, commitment, and politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 620-652, December.
- Stephen Morris, "undated".
""Approximate Common Knowledge Revisited'',"
CARESS Working Papres
96-06, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Djankov, Simeon & et al, 2003.
"Who Owns the Media?,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 341-381, October.
- Djankov, Simeon & McLeish, Caralee & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Who owns the media?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2620, The World Bank.
- Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Tatiana Nenova & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Who Owns the Media?," NBER Working Papers 8288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Tatiana Nenova & Andrei Shleifer, "undated". "Who Owns the Media?," Working Paper 19470, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Tatiana Nenova & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Who Owns the Media?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1919, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Djankov, Simeon & Caralee, McLiesh & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Scholarly Articles 3606236, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Prat, Andrea, 2002.
"Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
- Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000.
"Global Games: Theory and Applications,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1275R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2001.
- Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000. "Global Games: Theory and Applications," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1275, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Stephen Morris & Hyun S Shin, 2001. "Global Games: Theory and Applications," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001080, David K. Levine.
- Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2002. "Evolution of Social Behavior: Individual and Group Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 67-88, Spring.
- Bardhan, Pranab, 1988.
"Some Reflections on the Use of the Concept of Power in Economics,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt4kd9k7bt, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Pranab Bardhan., 1988. "Some Reflections on the Use of the Concept of Power in Economics," Economics Working Papers 8896, University of California at Berkeley.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
- Michael Suk-Young Chwe, 2000. "Communication and Coordination in Social Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 1-16.
- Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002.
"Who trusts others?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
- Edward C. Prescott & Stephen L. Parente, 1999.
"Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1216-1233, December.
- Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
- Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.33. 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: (barbara racah)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.