Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=296659
 
 

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A Matter of Trust: The Search for Accountability in Italian Politics, 1990-2000


Cristina Bicchieri


University of Pennsylvania

Ram Mudambi


Temple University - Department of Strategic Management

Pietro Navarra


University of Messina - Institute of Economics and Finance; London School of Economics & Political Science - CPNSS


Mind and Society, vol.4(1), pp.129-148, 2005.

Abstract:     
During the Nineties Italian politics underwent major changes. Following the uncovering and prosecuting of systemic corruption, the current political establishment was wiped out. Further, the system of representation at both the national and local levels underwent a significant transformation that improved voters' control over their elected representatives. We argue that both events were the consequence of citizens' demand for greater accountability of elected public officers. We model the relationship between voters and politicians as a repeated Trust game. In such game, cooperation can be attained either by means of external controls or by means of internal controls. The latter are less costly, but they may be unfeasible. Whereas the judicial investigation is an external mechanism to monitor representatives' actions, the electoral reform provides a form of control internal to the political system. Our formal model depicts the Italian transition between these different modes of control. We show under which conditions a cooperative equilibrium can be established in which voters can trust their representatives, who in turn have an incentive to reciprocate and act in the public interest. The results of our model have important implications for the process of electoral reform still under way in Italy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

JEL Classification: A00, A12, A13, A14, D72, D73, D78, H, K4, K42

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Date posted: January 11, 2002 ; Last revised: April 24, 2014

Suggested Citation

Bicchieri, Cristina and Mudambi, Ram and Navarra, Pietro, A Matter of Trust: The Search for Accountability in Italian Politics, 1990-2000. Mind and Society, vol.4(1), pp.129-148, 2005.. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=296659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.296659

Contact Information

Cristina Bicchieri
University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-5820 (Phone)
Ram Mudambi (Contact Author)
Temple University - Department of Strategic Management ( email )
Fox School of Business and Management
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-2099 (Phone)
215-204-8029 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://sbm.temple.edu/~rmudambi/index.html

Pietro Navarra
University of Messina - Institute of Economics and Finance ( email )
Piazza Pugliatti 1
Messina
Sicilia, 98122
Italy
39-090-676-4446 (Phone)
39-090-292-0014 (Fax)
London School of Economics & Political Science - CPNSS ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
44-207-955-6820 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


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