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Public Opinion and the Dynamics of Reform

  • Sanjay Jain
  • Sharun W. Mukand

Why do economic reforms that are proceeding successfully often run aground? In this paper we show that there might arise circumstances where the initial success of reform might result in it running into a political impasse. We suggest that the key might lie in the e?ect that the reform process has on the balance of political power. In particular, if initially successful reforms change the balance of political power in such a way as to make future redistribution less likely, then public opinion may turn against reform. Thus, in some sense, an initially successful reform may well end up sowing the seeds of its own destruction.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200408.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0408.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0408
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  1. Tommasi, Mariano & Velasco, Andres, 1995. "Where are we in the Political Economy of Reform?," Working Papers 95-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  3. Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gerard, 1995. "The Design of Reform Packages under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1207-23, December.
  4. Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gérard, 1991. "The Virtues of Gradualism and Legitimacy in the Transition to a Market Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Fidrmuc, J., 1998. "Political Support for Reforms : Economics of Voting in Transition Countries," Discussion Paper 1998-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
  8. 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.
  9. Werner, Alejandro M., 1999. "Building consensus for stabilizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 319-336, August.
  10. Cesar Martinelli & Mariano Tommasi, 1993. "Sequencing of Economic Reforms in the Presence of Political Constraints," UCLA Economics Working Papers 701, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "Gradualism versus Big Bang: Speed and Sustainability of Reforms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 1234-47, November.
  12. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "Inefficient Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
  15. Hayo, Bernd, 2004. "Public support for creating a market economy in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 720-744, December.
  16. Bernd Hayo, 2001. "On Democratization and Economic Conditions in Eastern Europe," Development and Comp Systems 0106001, EconWPA.
  17. Sanjay Jain & Sharun W. Mukand, 2003. "Redistributive Promises and the Adoption of Economic Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 256-264, March.
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