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A Theory of Political Entrenchment

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  • Saint-Paul, Gilles
  • Ticchi, Davide
  • Vindigni, Andrea

Abstract

Can an incumbent political party increase its chances at re-election by implementing inefficient policies that harm its constituency? This paper studies the possibility of such a phenomenon, which we label political entrenchment. We use a two-party dynamic model of redistribution with probabilistic voting. Political entrenchment by the Left occurs only if incumbency rents are sufficiently high. Low-skill citizens may vote for this party even though they rationally expect the adoption of these policies. We discuss: the possibility of entrenchment by the Right; the scope for commitment to avoid entrenchment policies; and the effect of state capacity, income inequality and party popularity on the likelihood of entrenchment. We illustrate our theory with a number of historical examples.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2012. "A Theory of Political Entrenchment," IDEI Working Papers 703, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:25739
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Roessler & Sandro Shelegia & Bruno Strulovici, 2018. "Collective Commitment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(1), pages 347-380.
    2. Da Silva, António Dias & Givone, Audrey & Sondermann, David, 2017. "When do countries implement structural reforms?," Working Paper Series 2078, European Central Bank.
    3. Maxime Menuet & Patrick Villieu, 0. "Reputation and the “need for enemies”," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 0, pages 1-41.
    4. Daniel J. Smith, 2020. "Turn-taking in office," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 205-226, June.
    5. Matthias Wrede, 2019. "The incumbent’s preference for imperfect commitment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(3), pages 285-300, September.
    6. Jan Fałkowski & Grażyna Bukowska, 2016. "Monopolizacja władzy a wyniki gospodarcze na poziomie Polski lokalnej," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 2, pages 91-120.
    7. Rodriguez Acosta, Mauricio, 2016. "Essays in political economy and resource economic : A macroeconomic approach," Other publications TiSEM 1e39ef1b-43a2-4f95-892c-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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