Notes # 9 reading

Notes # 9 reading - Reining in the Prince Three Puzzles...

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Reining in the Prince Three Puzzles identify political decisions that are incentive compatible with particular institutional constraints. We identify two basic institutions of governance that together expose generic differences between democracy, monarchy, military junta, autocracy, and other forms of government. We use these institutions to explain why poor policy performance is incentive compatible with many forms of nondemocratic governance, while good policy performance is induced by democratic institutions even in the absence of a population that is particularly honest, forthright, or civic-minded. the selection of governing institutions. People are said to be creatures of habit. Yet, in politics, they often deviate from past practice when the opportunity arises to alter the rules by which they are governed. what leads to the selection and maintenanCe of democracy in some places, autocracy in others, military juntas in still others, while others choose monarchy or some other form of governance? A third puzzle arises out of the study of war. The Essence of the Argument Political leaders need to hold office in order to accomplish any goal. Every leader answers to some group that retains her in power: her winning coalition. This group controls the essential features that constitute political power in the system. In democracies the winning coalition is the group of voters who elect the leader; in other systems it is the set of people who control enough other instruments of power to keep the leader in office Leaders make three related sets of decisions. a tax rate that generates government revenue and that influences how hard people work. spend the revenue raised they provide various mixes of public and private goods Coalition members are drawn from a broader group: the selectorate The larger the selectorate relative to the winning coalition, the smaller the chance that a given member of the current leader's coalition will be included in the challenger's new winning coalition and so continue to receive private benefits. In political systems characterized by small winning coalitions and large selectorates-as is common in many rigged-election autocracies supporters of the leader are particularly loyal because the risk and cost of exclusion if the challenger comes to power are high. Conversely, in political systems characterized by large coalitions and large selectorates-as is common in many democracies-supporters of the leader have weak bonds of special privileges and so are more willing to defect.
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A Theory of Political Incentives: Part I how institutions for selecting leaders, which we call selection institutions, shape the incentives leaders have to promote or inhibit social welfare. how political-selection institutions influence the prospects that political leaders will survive
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course IR 109 taught by Professor Heinz during the Spring '10 term at Rochester.

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Notes # 9 reading - Reining in the Prince Three Puzzles...

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