Sharun Mukand

Dept. of Economics
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Warwick

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018The Political Economy of Ideas: On Ideas Versus Interests in Policymaking
with Dani Rodrik: w24467
We develop a conceptual framework to highlight the role of ideas as a catalyst for policy and institutional change. We make an explicit distinction between ideas and vested interests and show how they feed into each other. In doing so the paper integrates the Keynes-Hayek perspective on the importance of ideas with the currently more fashionable Stigler-Becker (interests only) approach to political economy. We distinguish between two kinds of ideational politics – the battle among different worldviews on the efficacy of policy (worldview politics) versus the politics of victimhood, pride and identity (identity politics). Political entrepreneurs discover identity and policy ‘memes’ (narratives, cues, framing) that shift beliefs about how the world works or a person’s belief of who he is (i....
September 2015The Political Economy of Liberal Democracy
with Dani Rodrik: w21540
We distinguish between three sets of rights – property rights, political rights, and civil rights – and provide a taxonomy of political regimes. The distinctive nature of liberal democracy is that it protects civil rights (equality before the law for minorities) in addition to the other two. Democratic transitions are typically the product of a settlement between the elite (who care mostly about property rights) and the majority (who care mostly about political rights). Such settlements rarely produce liberal democracy, as the minority has neither the resources nor the numbers to make a contribution at the bargaining table. We develop a formal model to sharpen the contrast between electoral and liberal democracies and highlight circumstances under which liberal democracy can emerge. We dis...

Published: Sharun W Mukand & Dani Rodrik, 2020. "The Political Economy of Liberal Democracy," The Economic Journal, vol 130(627), pages 765-792.

August 2002In Search of the Holy Grail: Policy Convergence, Experimentation, and Economic Performance
with Dani Rodrik: w9134
We consider a model of policy choice in which appropriate policies depend on a country's own circumstances, but the presence of a successful leader generates an informational externality and results in too little 'policy experimentation.' Corrupt governments are reined in while honest governments are disciplined inefficiently. Our model yields distinct predictions about the patterns of policy imitation, corruption, and economic performance as a function of a country''s location vis-……-vis successful leaders. In particular, it predicts a U-shaped pattern in economic performance as we move away from the leader in the relevant space of characteristics: close neighbors should do very well, distant countries moderately well on average with considerable variance, and intermediate countries wors...

Published: Mukand, Sharun W. and Dani Rodrik. "In Search Of The Holy Grail: Policy Convergence, Experimentation, And Economic Performance," American Economic Review, 2005, v95(1,Mar), 374-383. citation courtesy of

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