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Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions

  • Roger Lagunoff

    (Georgetown University)

This paper studies dynamic, endogenous institutional change. We introduce the class of dynamic political games (DPGs), dynamic games in which future political aggregation rules are decided under current ones, and the resulting institutional choices do not affect payoffs or technology directly. A companion paper (Lagunoff (2005b)) establishes existence of Markov Perfect equilibria of dynamic political games. The present paper examines issues of stability and reform when such equilibria exist. Which environments tend toward institutional stability? Which tend toward reform? We show that when political rules are dynamically consistent and private sector decisions areinessential,reform never occurs: all political rules are stable. Roughly,private sector decisions are inessential if any feasible ``social' continuation payoff can achieved by public sector decisions alone. More generally, we identify sufficient conditions for stability and reform in terms of recursive self selection and recursive self denial,incentive compatibility concepts that treat the rules themselves as ``players' who can strategically delegate future policy-making authority to different institutional types. These ideas are illustrated in an example of dynamic public goods provision.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0505006.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 12 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0505006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," Munich Reprints in Economics 20086, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  4. John P. Conley & Akram Temimi, 2001. "Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 79-102, February.
  5. Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Credible communication in dynastic government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 59-86, January.
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  8. Semih Koray, 2000. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions Verify Arrow and Gibbarad- Satterthwaite Theorems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 981-996, July.
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  11. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 703-725, December.
  12. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
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  16. 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.
  17. Lagunoff, Roger, 1992. "Fully Endogenous Mechanism Selection on Finite Outcome Sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 465-80, October.
  18. Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2000. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," Working Papers 57, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  19. Roger Lagunoff, 1997. "A Theory of Constitutional Standards and Civil Liberty," Game Theory and Information 9707004, EconWPA.
  20. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2007. "Majority Rule Dynamics with Endogenous Status Quo," Wallis Working Papers WP46, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
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  26. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2002:i:4:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2007. "A Solution Concept for Majority Rule in Dynamic Settings," Discussion Papers 07-029, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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