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Endogenous Political Economy: On the Inevitability of Inefficiency under the Natural Resource Curse

  • Ana Fernandes

This paper is a first step toward a more fundamental theory of political economy outcomes. We start from the fundamentals of the economy, given by preferences and technology; further, we specify all available technologies for the control of resources - such as armed forces or bribing. We model the interaction of agents in this economy as a game and examine all its equilibria. Equilibrium allocations must be such that individuals maximize their utility and that no group of individuals has the incentive to modify those allocations by (additional) usage of the technologies for the control of resources. The generality of our approach enables us to answer the question "Is there something about the nature of a country that makes inefficient equilibria inevitable?" We illustrate our approach by applying it to the natural resource curse. The model predicts that inefficient outcomes - in the form of either conflict or a deterrence army solution - will always occur as long as the value of natural resources to capture is positive and the opportunity cost of time - which partly determines soldiers' wages - is finite.

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File URL: http://www.vwl.unibe.ch/papers/dp/dp0802.pdf
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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0802.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0802
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2006. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," NBER Working Papers 12748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Nicola Gennaioli, 2008. "Economics and Politics of Alternative Institutional Reforms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1197-1250, August.
  3. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
  4. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  5. Kolmar, Martin, 2005. "The contribution of Herschel I. Grossman to political economy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 802-814, December.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  7. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2000. "The "New Political Economy": Recent Books by Allen Drazen and by Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 915-925, December.
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