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Political Economy in a Changing World

  • Konstantin Sonin

    (New Economic School)

  • Georgy Egorov

    (Northwestern University)

  • Daron Acemoglu

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

We provide a general framework for the analysis of the dynamics of institutional change (e.g., democratization), and how this interacts with (anticipated and unanticipated) changes in the distribution of political power and changes in economic structure. We focus on the Markov voting equilibria, which require that economic and political changes should take place if there exists a subset of players with the power to implement such changes and who will obtain higher expected continuation utility by doing so. Assuming that economic and political institutions as well as individual types can be ordered, and preferences and the distribution of political power satisfy a natural "single crossing" condition, we prove the existence of pure-strategy equilibrium, provide conditions for its uniqueness, and present a number of comparative static results that apply at this level of generality. We then use this framework to study the dynamics of political rights and repression in the presence of radical groups that can stochastically grab power depending on the distribution of political rights in society. We characterize the conditions under which the presence of radicals leads to repression, show a type of path dependence in politics resulting from radicals coming to power, and identify a novel strategic complementarity in repression.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 386.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:386
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1011-1048, August.
  2. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 705-763, May.
  3. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  4. Jack Hirshleifer & Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2009. "The Slippery Slope Of Concession," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 197-205, 04.
  5. 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.
  6. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Public Economics 0306002, EconWPA, revised 01 Jul 2003.
  7. James D. Fearon, 2004. "Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer than Others?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 275-301, May.
  8. BARBERA, Salvador & MASCHLER, Michael & SHALEV, Jonathan, 1998. "Voting for voters: a model of electoral evolution," CORE Discussion Papers 1998022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Bruno Strulovici, 2008. "Learning While Voting: Determinants of Collective Experimentation," Economics Series Working Papers 2008-WO8, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2009. "Political Selection and Persistence of Bad Governments," NBER Working Papers 15230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Burkart, Mike & Wallner, Klaus, 2000. "Club Enlargement: Early Versus Late Admittance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Gregory, Paul & Schrôder, Philipp & Sonin, Konstantin, 2006. "Dictators, Repression and the Median Citizen: An “Eliminations Model” of Stalin’s Terror (Data from the NKVD Archives)," CEPR Discussion Papers 6014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132, 01.
  14. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2003. "International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Michael C. Munger, 2001. "Voting," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, chapter 9 Edward Elgar.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
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