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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0408
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  1. Bernd Hayo, 2001. "On Democratization and Economic Conditions in Eastern Europe," Development and Comp Systems 0106001, EconWPA.
  2. Mariano Tommasi & Andres Velasco, 1995. "Where Are We in the Political Economy of Reform?," Working Papers 11, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Apr 1996.
  3. 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.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Gérard Roland, 1995. "The design of reform packages under uncertainty," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9607, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  7. Dewatripont, M & Roland, G, 1992. "The Virtues of Gradualism and Legitimacy in the Transition to a Market Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 291-300, March.
  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. 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.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  11. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "Inefficient Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  14. 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.
  15. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2000. "Political support for reforms: Economics of voting in transition countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1491-1513, August.
  16. Cesar Martinelli & Mariano Tommasi, 1993. "Sequencing of Economic Reforms in the Presence of Political Constraints," UCLA Economics Working Papers 701, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Werner, Alejandro M., 1999. "Building consensus for stabilizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 319-336, August.
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