IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions

  • Roger Lagunoff

    (Georgetown University)

This paper examines existence of Markov equilibria in the class of dynamic political games (DPGs). DPGs are dynamic games in which political institutions are endogenously determined each period. The process of change is both recursive and instrumental: the rules for political aggregation at date t+1 are decided by the rules at date t, and the resulting institutional choices do not affect payoffs or technology directly. Equilibrium existence in dynamic political games requires a resolution to a “political fixed point problem” in which a current political rule (e.g., majority voting) admits a solution only if all feasible political rules in the future admit solutions in all states. If the class of political rules is dynamically consistent, then DPGs are shown to admit political fixed points. This result is used to prove two equilibrium existence theorems, one of which implies that equilibrium strategies, public and private, are smooth functions of the economic state. We discuss practical applications that require existence of smooth equilibria.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0501003.

in new window

Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0501003
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stephen Coate & Marco Battaglini, 2005. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policy-Making: A Dynamic Analysis," 2005 Meeting Papers 209, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Manuel Amador, 2004. "A Political Model Sovereign Debt Repayment," 2004 Meeting Papers 762, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Cervellati Matteo & Fortunato Piergiuseppe & Sunde Uwe, 2012. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-51, December.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," NBER Working Papers 12108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1011-1048.
  7. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2004. "Time-Consistent Public Expenditures," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000652, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000534, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  11. MERTENS, Jean-François, . "Stochastic games," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1587, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
  13. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  14. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  15. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules," Microeconomics 0211003, EconWPA.
  16. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," Discussion Papers 1441, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Krusell, P. & Rios-Rull, J.V., 1993. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Papers 547, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  18. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 2003. "A Social Choice Lemma on Voting over Lotteries with Applications to a Class of Dynamic Games," Working Papers 1163, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  19. 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.
  20. Roger Lagunoff, 2002. "Credible Communication in Dynastic Government," Game Theory and Information 0203003, EconWPA.
  21. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2007. "Majority Rule Dynamics with Endogenous Status Quo," Wallis Working Papers WP46, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  22. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
  23. Mertens, J.-F. & Parthasarathy, T., 1987. "Equilibria for discounted stochastic games," CORE Discussion Papers 1987050, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  24. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," Scholarly Articles 4553030, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Barbera, S. & Maschler, M. & Shalev, J., 2001. "Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 40-78, October.
  26. Bowen, T. Renee & Zahran, Zaki, 2012. "On dynamic compromise," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 391-419.
  27. U. Horst & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Equilibria in Systems of Social Interactions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000119, David K. Levine.
  28. Roger Lagunoff & William Jack, 2004. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 24, Econometric Society.
  29. Semih Koray, 2000. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions Verify Arrow and Gibbarad- Satterthwaite Theorems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 981-996, July.
  30. George Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2005. "The Killing Game: Reputation and Knowledge in Non-Democratic Succession," Economics Working Papers 0054, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  31. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  32. Kevin Roberts, 1999. "Dynamic voting in clubs," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19349, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  33. Amir, R., . "Continuous stochastic games of capital accumulation with convex transitions," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1227, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  34. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  35. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
  36. Jordan, J.S., 2006. "Pillage and property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 26-44, November.
  37. Armando Gomes & Philippe Jehiel, 2005. "Dynamic Processes of Social and Economic Interactions: On the Persistence of Inefficiencies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 626-667, June.
  38. Montrucchio, Luigi, 1987. "Lipschitz continuous policy functions for strongly concave optimization problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 259-273, June.
  39. Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2001. "Age Bias in Fiscal Policy: Why Does the Political Process Favor the Elderly?," Occidental Economics Working Papers 1, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
  40. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
  41. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  42. Horst, Ulrich, 2005. "Stationary equilibria in discounted stochastic games with weakly interacting players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 83-108, April.
  43. Lagunoff, Roger, 1992. "Fully Endogenous Mechanism Selection on Finite Outcome Sets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(4), pages 465-80, October.
  44. B. D. Bernheim & S. N. Slavov, 2009. "A Solution Concept for Majority Rule in Dynamic Settings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 33-62.
  45. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  46. Roger Lagunoff, 1997. "A Theory of Constitutional Standards and Civil Liberty," Game Theory and Information 9707004, EconWPA.
  47. Curtat, Laurent O., 1996. "Markov Equilibria of Stochastic Games with Complementarities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 177-199, December.
  48. Justman, Moshe & Gradstein, Mark, 1999. "The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-127, April.
  49. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0501003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.