Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs
Author(s)Acemoglu, Daron; Egorov, Georgy; Sonin, Konstantin
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A central feature of dynamic collective decision-making is that the rules that govern 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 paves 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. 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. Finally, we apply this framework to the analysis of the dynamics of political rights in a society with different types of extremist views.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Economics
American Economic Review
American Economic Association
Acemoglu, Daron, Georgy Egorov and Konstantin Sonin. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs." American Economic Review 102.4 (June 2012) pp.1446-76.
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