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Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Georgy Egorov
  • Konstantin Sonin

Abstract

A central feature of dynamic collective decision-making is that the rules that govern the procedures for future decision-making and the distribution of political power across players are determined by current decisions. For example, current constitutional change must take into account how the new constitution may pave the way for further changes in laws and regulations. We develop a general framework for the analysis of this class of dynamic problems. Under relatively natural acyclicity assumptions, we provide a complete characterization of dynamically stable states as functions of the initial state and determine conditions for their uniqueness. We show how this framework can be applied in political economy, coalition formation, and the analysis of the dynamics of clubs. The explicit characterization we provide highlights two intuitive features of dynamic collective decision-making: (1) a social arrangement is made stable by the instability of alternative arrangements that are preferred by sufficiently many members of the society; (2) efficiency-enhancing changes are often resisted because of further social changes that they will engender.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," NBER Working Papers 14239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14239
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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