Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model

23 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2007

See all articles by William Jack

William Jack

World Bank

Roger Lagunoff

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of political institutions in the face of conflict. We examine institutional reform in a class of pivotal mechanisms - institutions that behave as if the resulting policy were determined by a "pivotal" decision maker drawn from the potential population of citizens and who holds full policy-making authority at the time. A rule-of-succession describes the process by which pivotal decision makers in period t + 1 are, themselves, chosen by pivotal decision makers in period t. Two sources of conflict - class conflict, arising from differences in wealth, and ideological conflict, arising from differences in preferences - are examined. In each case, we characterize the unique Markov-perfect equilibrium of the associated dynamic political game, and show that public decision-making authority evolves monotonically downward in wealth and upward in ideological predisposition toward the public good. We then examine rules-of-succession when ideology and wealth exhibit correlation.

Suggested Citation

Jack, William G. and Lagunoff, Roger, Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 108, No. 4, pp. 703-725, December 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=954846 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2006.00463.x

William G. Jack (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Roger Lagunoff

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-1510 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)

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