Horizontal and Vertical Conflict: Experimental Evidence
Two types of political conflicts of interest pervade many of the world’s societies. A horizontal conflict of interest arises when different constituencies support different policies, while a vertical conflict of interest emerges when those in charge of running the government acquire and retain rents in the process of doing so. We experimentally explore the connections between the two. We identify two sets of models that incorporate both types of conflicts: electoral models with endogenous rents, and common-agency models. We adapt these models to a laboratory setting and test their main theoretical predictions using two experiments. In both cases we find support for the proposition that more intense horizontal conflict leads to higher rents, which is one of the theoretical predictions of the parametrized electoral and common-agency models that we have used.
Cheryl Long appreciates the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71273217) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 20720151001). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Sebastian Galiani & Cheryl Long & Camila Navajas Ahumada & Gustavo Torrens, 2019. "Horizontal and Vertical Conflict: Experimental Evidence," Kyklos, vol 72(2), pages 239-269. citation courtesy of