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The Political cost of reforms
Bonfiglioli, Alessandra
Gancia, Gino
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica

Data: 2011
Descripció: 38 p.
Col·lecció: Working papers ; 847.10
Resum: This paper formalizes in a fully-rational model the popular idea that politicians perceive an electoral cost in adopting costly reforms with future benefits and reconciles it with the evidence that reformist governments are not punished by voters. To do so, it proposes a model of elections where political ability is ex-ante unknown and investment in reforms is unobservable. On the one hand, elections improve accountability and allow to keep well-performing incumbents. On the other, politicians make too little reforms in an attempt to signal high ability and increase their reappointment probability. Although in a rational expectation equilibrium voters cannot be fooled and hence reelection does not depend on reforms, the strategy of underinvesting in reforms is nonetheless sustained by out-of-equilibrium beliefs. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, uncertainty makes reforms more politically viable and may, under some conditions, increase social welfare. The model is then used to study how political rewards can be set so as to maximize social welfare and the desirability of imposing a one-term limit to governments. The predictions of this theory are consistent with a number of empirical regularities on the determinants of reforms and reelection. They are also consistent with a new stylized fact documented in this paper: economic uncertainty is associated to more reforms in a panel of 20 OECD countries.
Drets: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús de Creative Commons, amb la qual es permet copiar, distribuir i comunicar públicament l'obra sempre que se'n citin l'autor original, la universitat, la unitat i l'institut i no se'n faci cap ús comercial ni obra derivada, tal com queda estipulat en la llicència d'ús Creative Commons
Llengua: Anglès.
Document: workingPaper
Matèria: Eleccions ; Models matemàtics

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38 p, 308.7 KB

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