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Policymakers' Horizon and the Sustainability of International Cooperation

  • Paola Conconi
  • Nicolas Sahuguet

This paper examines the impact of policymakers' horizon on the sustainability of international cooperation. We describe a prisoners' dilemma game between two infinitely-lived countries run by policymakers. We show that re-election incentives can act as a discipline device, making it easier to sustain cooperation between policymakers with finite but potentially renewable mandates than between infinitely-lived policymakers. We also show that, when voting suffers from a recency bias, policymakers may have incentives to "collude" to get re-elected and term limits may help international cooperation.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/98547.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in: Journal of public economics (2009) v.93,p.549-558
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/98547
Contact details of provider: Postal: CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. Salant, David J., 1991. "A repeated game with finitely lived overlapping generations of players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 244-259, May.
  2. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506, November.
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  8. Putnam, Robert D., 1988. "Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 427-460, June.
  9. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Repeated Games Played by Overlapping Generations of Players," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 81-92, January.
  10. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  11. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," Papers 12-21-2004, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  12. Conconi, Paola & Perroni, Carlo, 2006. "Do Credible Domestic Institutions Promote Credible International Agreements?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Eisenberg Daniel & Ketcham Jonathan, 2004. "Economic Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections: Who Blames Whom for What," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, August.
  14. Yianis Sarafidis, 2007. "What Have you Done for me Lately? Release of Information and Strategic Manipulation of Memories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 307-326, 03.
  15. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
  16. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  17. Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. " Self-Imposed Term Limits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 389-94, December.
  18. Edward Glaeser, 1997. "Self-imposed term limits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 389-394, December.
  19. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2005. "Re-election Incentives and the Sustainability of International Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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