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Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues

  • Antonio Merlo

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

In this paper, I discuss recent developments in political economy. By focusing on the microeconomic side of the discipline, I present an overview of current research on four of the fundamental institutions of a political economy: voters, politicians, parties and governments. For each of these topics, I identify and discuss some of the salient questions that have been posed and addressed in the literature, present some stylized models and examples, and summarize the main theoretical findings. Furthermore, I describe the available data, review the relevant empirical evidence, and discuss some of the challenges for empirical research in political economy.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/05-033.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 05-033.

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Length: 81 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2005
Date of revision: 01 Dec 2005
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-033
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  1. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Mandar Oak, 2004. "Party Formation and Coalitional Bargaining in a Model of Proportional Representation," Working Papers 2004.98, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Daniel Diermeier & Antoni Merlo, 1999. "An Empirical Investigation of Coalitional Bargaining Procedures," Discussion Papers 1267, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Antonio Merlo & Andrea Mattozzi, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," 2005 Meeting Papers 740, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
  5. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232, www.najecon.org.
  6. Poutvaara, Panu & Takalo, Tuomas, 2007. "Candidate quality," Munich Reprints in Economics 19785, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  8. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Theoretical Comparisons of Electoral Systems," Discussion Papers 1261, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Levy, Gilat, 2004. "A model of political parties," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 250-277, April.
  10. Diermeier, Daniel & Eraslan, Hülya & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Bicameralism and Government Formation," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 227-252, August.
  11. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Discussion Papers 1214, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  13. Jackson, Matthew O. & Moselle, Boaz, 1998. "Coalition and Party Formation in a Legislative Voting Game," Working Papers 1036, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  14. Cecilia Testa, 2004. "Party Polarization and Electoral Accountability," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  15. Daniel Diermeier & Antonio Merlo, 1998. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Discussion Papers 1232, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
  17. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen, 1988. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition," Scholarly Articles 4553015, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Leonardo Felli & Antonio M. Merlo, 2000. "Endogenous Lobbying," CESifo Working Paper Series 291, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  21. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  22. Helios Herrera & Cesar Martinelli, 2005. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," Working Papers 0502, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  23. V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Ramon Marimon, 1997. "The economics of split-ticket voting in representative democracies," Working Papers 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  24. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "Do Citizens Vote Sincerely (If They Vote at All)? Theory and Evidence from U. S. National Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-014, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  25. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
  26. Bandyopadhyay, Siddhartha & Oak, Mandar P., 2008. "Coalition governments in a model of parliamentary democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 554-561, September.
  27. Martin J. Osborne & Rabee Tourky, 2008. "Party Formation in Single-Issue Politics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 974-1005, 09.
  28. Arianna Degan, 2006. "Policy Positions, Information Acquisition and Turnout," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 669-682, December.
  29. Antonio Merlo & Charles Wilson, 1997. "Efficient delays in a stochastic model of bargaining," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(1), pages 39-55.
  30. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  31. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  32. Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
  33. Gebhard Kirchgässner & Tobias Schulz, 2005. "Expected Closeness or Mobilisation: Why Do Voters Go to the Polls? Empirical Results for Switzerland, 1981 – 1999," CESifo Working Paper Series 1387, CESifo Group Munich.
  34. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
  35. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
  36. Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Papers 91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  37. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Merlo, A., 1992. "Bargaining Over Governments in a Stochastic Environment," Working Papers 92-55, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  39. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  40. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  41. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  42. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "The Effects of Constitutions on Coalition Governments in Parliamentary Democracies," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-037, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  43. Eraslan, Hulya, 2002. "Uniqueness of Stationary Equilibrium Payoffs in the Baron-Ferejohn Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 11-30, March.
  44. Eraslan, H. & Merlo, A., 2000. "Majority Rule in a Stochastic Model of Bargaining," Working Papers 00-05, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  45. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
  46. Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  47. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
  48. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin & Andrea Moro, 2004. "The Performance of the Pivotal-Voter Model in Small-Scale Elections: Evidence from Texas Liquor Referenda," NBER Working Papers 10797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  50. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  51. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties as Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489.
  52. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
  53. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
  54. Merlo, Antonio & Wilson, Charles A, 1995. "A Stochastic Model of Sequential Bargaining with Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 371-99, March.
  55. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  56. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  57. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
  58. Moulin, Herve, 1994. "Social choice," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1091-1125 Elsevier.
  59. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  60. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  61. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  62. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
  63. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1992. "The role of party reputation in the formation of policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-121, October.
  64. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  65. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82.
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