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The Political Economy of Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information

  • Sanjit Dhami

    (University of Newcastle Upon Tyne)

This paper examines the political economy of redistribution when voters have asymmetric information about the redistributive preferences of politicians and the latter cannot make credible policy commitments. The candidates in each party are endogenously selected by a process of Nash Bargaining between the competing factions. In equilibrium, there is "partial convergence" of redistributive policies, support for "Director's Law", the possibility of "policy reversals" across the parties, and "inter term tax variability" (political budget cycles) during the tenure of a politician. The effect of inequality on the magnitude of the redistributive activity depends in important ways on the incentives and constraints facing politicians.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0108001.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 16 Aug 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0108001
Note: Type of Document - Postscript; prepared on PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 29 ; figures: included. We never published this piece and now we would like to reduce our mailing and xerox cost by posting it.
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  1. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1938, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. John E. Roemer, 1997. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Discussion Papers 97-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
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  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  9. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
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  11. Alex Cukierman & Yossi Spiegel, 2003. "When is the median voter paradigm a reasonable guide for policy choices in a representative democracy?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 247-284, November.
  12. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  13. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  15. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  16. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  17. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  19. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:102:y:1987:i:2:p:179-221 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  21. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
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