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Horizontal and Vertical Conflict: Experimental Evidence

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  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Cheryl Long
  • Camila Navajas
  • Gustavo Torrens

Abstract

Two types of political conflicts of interest pervade many of the world’s societies. A horizontal conflict of interest arises when different constituencies support different policies, while a vertical conflict of interest emerges when those in charge of running the government acquire and retain rents in the process of doing so. We experimentally explore the connections between the two. We identify two sets of models that incorporate both types of conflicts: electoral models with endogenous rents, and common-agency models. We adapt these models to a laboratory setting and test their main theoretical predictions using two experiments. In both cases we find support for the proposition that more intense horizontal conflict leads to higher rents, which is one of the theoretical predictions of the parametrized electoral and common-agency models that we have used.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Galiani & Cheryl Long & Camila Navajas & Gustavo Torrens, 2016. "Horizontal and Vertical Conflict: Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 21857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21857
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    Cited by:

    1. Stadelmann, David & Torrens, Gustavo, 2020. "Who is the ultimate boss of legislators: Voters, special interest groups or parties?," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224562, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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