NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs

Daron Acemoglu, Georgy Egorov, Konstantin Sonin

NBER Working Paper No. 14239
Issued in August 2008
NBER Program(s):   EFG   POL

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.

download in pdf format
   (598 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (598 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14239

Published: Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-76, June.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Acemoglu, Egorov, and Sonin w15230 Political Selection and Persistence of Bad Governments
Acemoglu, Egorov, and Sonin w12749 Coalition Formation in Political Games
Acemoglu, Aghion, Bursztyn, and Hemous w15451 The Environment and Directed Technical Change
Acemoglu and Robinson w12108 Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions
Acemoglu, Golosov, and Tsyvinski w15400 Power Fluctuations and Political Economy
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us