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Separation of Powers, Political Competition and Efficient Provision of Public Goods


  • Aristotelis Boukouras

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Kostas Koufopoulos

    (University of Warwick)


In this paper we provide a political game where agents decide whether to become legislators or politicians. Legislators determine the political institutions constraining politicians\' behavior and politicians compete for gaining the power to make decisions about the level of the public good. We derive the following results: i) Political competition is a necessary but not a suffcient condition for the elimination of political rents. ii) Agents utilize the separation of powers in order to endogenously select institutions which restrict the power of politicians. iii) In conjunction with political competition, these institutions implement the Lindahl allocation in the economy as a sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium of the political game. iv) As a consequence of the previous result, political rents are zero in equilibrium, in the sense that the winning politician does not extract part of the social surplus because of his power. To the best of our knowledge, this in the only citizen-candidate model with this equilibrium property.

Suggested Citation

  • Aristotelis Boukouras & Kostas Koufopoulos, 2011. "Separation of Powers, Political Competition and Efficient Provision of Public Goods," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 60, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:060

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    More about this item


    Lindahl allocation; political competition; voting games;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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