Article

Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies

Review of Economic Studies (Impact Factor: 2.81). 10/2008; 75(4):987-1009. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-937X.2008.00503.x
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT

We study the formation of a ruling coalition in non-democratic societies where institutions do not enable political commitments. Each individual is endowed with a level of political power. The ruling coalition consists of a subset of the individuals in the society and decides the distribution of resources. A ruling coalition needs to contain enough powerful members to win against any alternative coalition that may challenge it, and it needs to be self-enforcing, in the sense that none of its subcoalitions should be able to secede and become the new ruling coalition. We present both an axiomatic approach that captures these notions and determines a (generically) unique ruling coalition and the analysis of a dynamic game of coalition formation that encompasses these ideas. We establish that the subgame-perfect equilibria of the coalition formation game coincide with the set of ruling coalitions resulting from the axiomatic approach. A key insight of our analysis is that a coalition is made self-enforcing by the failure of its winning subcoalitions to be self-enforcing. This is most simply illustrated by the following example: with "majority rule", two-person coalitions are generically not self-enforcing and consequently, three-person coalitions are self-enforcing (unless one player is disproportionately powerful). We also characterize the structure of ruling coalitions. For example, we determine the conditions under which ruling coalitions are robust to small changes in the distribution of power and when they are fragile. We also show that when the distribution of power across individuals is relatively equal and there is majoritarian voting, only certain sizes of coalitions ("e.g. "with majority rule, coalitions of size 1, 3, 7, 15, etc.) can be the ruling coalition. Copyright © 2008 The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Konstantin Sonin
  • Source
    • "The main contributions of this work can be listed as follows: • Proposed a distributed algorithm based on a political coalition formation game for network sum-rate maximizing multi-relay selection. • Designed a iterative/non-recursive algorithm for ultimate ruling coalition mapping, as opposed to the recursive algorithm in [21], and characterized its computational complexity. • Designed an algorithm with linear complexity to eliminate redundant relays to speed-up the convergence of the proposed distributed algorithm. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, the problem of multi-relay selection in one-to-many cooperative wireless networks is studied via a political coalition formation game approach. Specifically, each relay node is endowed with some coalitional strength and the selected coalition consists of a subset of the available relays in the network that is powerful enough to win against any other potential coalition. In addition, the formed “ruling” coalition must be selfenforcing (and hence stable) such that none of its members would split and become the new ruling coalition. A distributed ruling coalition formation algorithm is proposed that selects such stable set of relays with a marginal compromise on network sum-rate performance. Moreover, our proposed algorithm offers a network sum-rate performance/stability tradeoff through formation of political parties of relays, which also reduces complexity and communication overheads. The proposed algorithm is compared with centralized multi-relay selection as well as other multi-relay relay selection algorithms from the literature, and is shown to provide comparable network sum-rate with the added advantage of network stability.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
  • Source
    • "In this respect, our work substantially differs from Acemoglu and Robinson (2008) who explicitly address the question of regime persistence, and is closer related to work on ongoing internal struggles for power, see Powell (2013) for a recent example. The analysis builds on the work by Acemoglu et al. (2008a) who consider the problem of coalition formation in situations where binding agreements among different groups or parties cannot be made, since no party can commit not to eliminate other parties from the ruling coalition in the future. Our model explicitly deals with the concrete problem of coalition formation among distinct groups that represent differently endowed segments of the population and struggle for the redistribution of factor incomes in weakly institutionalized environments. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper studies the endogenous emergence of political regimes, in particular democracy, oligarchy and mass dictatorship, in societies in which productive resources are distributed unequally and institutions do not ensure political commitments. The political regime is shown to depend not only on income levels, but, in particular, on resource inequality. The main results imply that under any economic environment a distribution of resources exists such that democracy is the political outcome. This distribution is independent of the particular income level if the income share generated by the poor is sufficiently large. On the other hand, there are distributions of resources for which democracy is infeasible in equilibrium regardless of the level of economic development. The model also delivers results on the stability of democracy. Variations in inequality across several dimensions due to unbalanced technological change, immigration or changes in the demographic structure affect the scope for democracy or may even lead to its breakdown. Among other historical examples, the results are consistent with the different political regimes that emerged in Germany after its unification in 1871.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2014 · European Journal of Political Economy
  • Source
    • "This literature highlights the underlying mechanisms behind transitions from democracies to autocracies, and vise versa, but does not focus on transitions from one autocracy to another resulting from elite coups. Second, the formal literature on authoritarian regimes and the strategies autocrats follow to minimize threats to their stability (e.g., Wintrobe 1998; Acemoglu et al. 2008; Egorov et al. 2009). This literature suggests that dictators often try to co-opt the elites and thereby prevent coups. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most modern autocracies were overthrown by elite coups, while a mere few by mass revolutions. We provide a theory linking economic performance to the likelihood that an autocracy collapses due to a revolution or due to a coup. The theory is based on the interaction between three political classes: the dictator, interested in survival; the elites, interested in overthrowing the dictator and replacing him; and the masses, interested in democratization. The theory predicts that revolutions occur during economic crises, and, surprisingly, coups during normal economic periods, not dire ones. This prediction is consistent with 1960{2000 data on authoritarian breakdowns.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011
Show more