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A Theory of Political Entrenchment

Saint-Paul, Gilles and Ticchi, Davide and Vindigni, Andrea A Theory of Political Entrenchment. The Economic Journal, 126 (593). pp. 1238-1263. ISSN 00130133 (2015)

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Can an incumbent political party increase its chances at re-election by implementing inefficient policies that harm its constituency? This paper studies the possibility of such a phenomenon, which we label political entrenchment. We use a two-party dynamic model of redistribution with probabilistic voting. Political entrenchment by the Left occurs only if incumbency rents are sufficiently high. Low-skill citizens may vote for this party even though they rationally expect the adoption of these policies. We discuss: the possibility of entrenchment by the Right; the scope for commitment to avoid entrenchment policies; and the effect of state capacity, income inequality and party popularity on the likelihood of entrenchment. We illustrate our theory with a number of historical examples.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1111/ecoj.12215
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Caterina Tangheroni
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2016 15:25
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2016 10:20
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/3584

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