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Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions

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  • Roger Lagunoff

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0505006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0505006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-1476, June.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-293, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Ramin Dadasov & Philipp Harms & Oliver Lorz, 2013. "Financial integration in autocracies: Greasing the wheel or more to steal?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-22, February.
    5. Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    6. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
    7. Balbus, Łukasz & Reffett, Kevin & Woźny, Łukasz, 2014. "A constructive study of Markov equilibria in stochastic games with strategic complementarities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 815-840.
    8. Gradstein, Mark, 2007. "Institutional Traps and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 6414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Power fluctuations and political economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1009-1041, May.
    10. Chandrasekher, Madhav, 2015. "Dynamically consistent voting rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 175-187.
    11. Duggan, John & Kalandrakis, Tasos, 2012. "Dynamic legislative policy making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1653-1688.
    12. Karakas, Leyla D., 2016. "Political turnover and the accumulation of democratic capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 195-213.
    13. Gradstein, Mark, 2005. "Democracy, Property Rights, Redistribution and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Gradstein, M., 2007. "Institutional Traps and Economic Growth," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0769, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Recursive; dynamic political games; institutional reform; stability; dynamically consistent rules; inessential; recursive self selection.;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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