IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpga/9707004.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Theory of Constitutional Standards and Civil Liberty

Author

Listed:
  • Roger Lagunoff

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

Why would potentially intolerant majorities in a democracy protect the rights of unpopular groups or minorities? This paper postulates a dynamic agency model in which potentially tolerant legal standards emerge over time, despite all individuals' having intolerant views. Individuals in society make repeated choices which have social impact. A majority vote each period determines which of these activities are protected. Imperfect observability or interpretability of these activities necessitates that the dominant groups will not impose standards which are too intolerant, otherwise they may end up severely punishing members of their own group by mistake. We examine the Markov Perfect equilibria of a dynamic game in which there is potential turnover in the dominant group, and government improves with time in its ability to correctly observe and interpret citizens' activities. It is shown that societies with nonstationary population characteristics may be more amenable to stable and tolerant standards, while societies with stationary characteristics are more apt to choose more intolerant and unstable ones. Tolerant and stable standards tend to arise in response to a risk sharing motive between the different groups that tradeoff political power. Each group seeks to prevent auditing capabilities of government from improving too much over time in order to prevent future majorities from successfully enforcing more intolerant standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Lagunoff, 1997. "A Theory of Constitutional Standards and Civil Liberty," Game Theory and Information 9707004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9707004 Note: Type of Document - Tex; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP;
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/game/papers/9707/9707004.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oscar Volij, 2000. "Communication, credible improvements and the core of an economy with asymmetric information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, pages 63-79.
    2. Holmstrom, Bengt & Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1799-1819, November.
    3. Wilson, Robert B, 1978. "Information, Efficiency, and the Core of an Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 807-816, July.
    4. Peleg, Bezalel & Tijs, Stef, 1996. "The Consistency Principle for Games in Strategic Forms," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(1), pages 13-34.
    5. Serrano, Roberto & Volij, Oscar, 1998. "Axiomatizations of neoclassical concepts for economies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 87-108, August.
    6. Koutsougeras, Leonidas C & Yannelis, Nicholas C, 1993. "Incentive Compatibility and Information Superiority of the Core of an Economy with Differential Information," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(2), pages 195-216, April.
    7. van den Nouweland, A. & Peleg, B. & Tijs, S., 1996. "Axiomatic characterizations of the Walras correspondence for generalized economies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 355-372.
    8. Guangsug Hahn & Nicholas C. Yannelis, 1997. "Efficiency and incentive compatibility in differential information economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 10(3), pages 383-411.
    9. Nalebuff, Barry, 1989. "The Other Person's Envelope Is Always Greener," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 171-181, Winter.
    10. Yannelis, Nicholas C, 1991. "The Core of an Economy with Differential Information," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 1(2), pages 183-197, April.
    11. Lee, Darin, 1998. "A note on the individualistic foundations of the core in economies with asymmetric information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 203-208, November.
    12. Kobayashi, Takao, 1980. "Equilibrium Contracts for Syndicates with Differential Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(7), pages 1635-1665, November.
    13. Vohra, Rajiv, 1999. "Incomplete Information, Incentive Compatibility, and the Core," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 123-147, May.
    14. Peleg, Bezalel, 1985. "An axiomatization of the core of cooperative games without side payments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 203-214, April.
    15. Thomson, W., 1996. "Consistent Allocation Rules," RCER Working Papers 418, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    16. John Geanakoplos, 1992. "Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 53-82, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Dynamic Reform of Political Institutions," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 47, Econometric Society.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9707004. 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). General contact details of provider: http://econwpa.repec.org .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.