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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1201982
 
 

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Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs


Daron Acemoglu


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Georgy Egorov


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Konstantin Sonin


Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

August 4, 2008

MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 08-15

Abstract:     
A central feature of dynamic collective decision-making is that the rules that govern the procedures for future decision-making and the distribution of political power across players are determined by current decisions. For example, current constitutional change must take into account how the new constitution may pave the way for further changes in laws and regulations. We develop a general framework for the analysis of this class of dynamic problems. Under relatively natural acyclicity assumptions, we provide a complete characterization of dynamically stable states as functions of the initial state and determine conditions for their uniqueness. We show how this framework can be applied in political economy, coalition formation, and the analysis of the dynamics of clubs. The explicit characterization we provide highlights two intuitive features of dynamic collective decision-making: (1) a social arrangement is made stable by the instability of alternative arrangements that are preferred by sufficiently many members of the society; (2) efficiency-enhancing changes are often resisted because of further social changes that they will engender.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 64

Keywords: commitment, constitutions, dynamic coalition formation, political economy, stability, voting

JEL Classification: D71, D74, C71

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Date posted: August 7, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Acemoglu, Daron and Egorov, Georgy and Sonin, Konstantin, Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs (August 4, 2008). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 08-15. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1201982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1201982

Contact Information

Daron Acemoglu (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )
50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-380b
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-1927 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Georgy Egorov
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
NBER ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Konstantin Sonin
Higher School of Economics ( email )
20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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