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Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy (Zeuthen Lectures)

Опубликовано на портале: 05-11-2003
Изд-во: MIT Press, 2000, cерия "Zeuthen Lectures", 551 с.
What determines the size and form of redistributive programs, the extent and type of public goods provision, the burden of taxation across alternative tax bases, the size of government deficits, and the stance of monetary policy during the course of business and electoral cycles? A large and rapidly growing literature in political economics attempts to answer these questions. But so far there is little consensus on the answers and disagreement on the appropriate mode of analysis.

Combining the best of three separate traditions--the theory of macroeconomic policy, public choice, and rational choice in political science--Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini suggest a unified approach to the field. As in modern macroeconomics, individual citizens behave rationally, their preferences over economic outcomes inducing preferences over policy. As in public choice, the delegation of policy decisions to elected representatives may give rise to agency problems between voters and politicians. And, as in rational choice, political institutions shape the procedures for setting policy and electing politicians. The authors outline a common method of analysis, establish several new results, and identify the main outstanding problems.

Table of Contents
Series Foreword
1 General Introduction
1.1 Economic Policy
1.2 Politics
1.3 Concluding Remarks

2 Preferences and Institutions
2.1 A General Policy Problem
2.2 Restricting Preferences
2.3 Restricting Institutions
2.4 Discussion
2.5 Notes on the Literature
2.6 Problems
3 Electoral Competition
3.1 A Simple Model of Public Finance
3.2 Downsian Electoral Competition
3.3 Median-Voter Equilibria
3.4 Probabilistic Voting
3.5 Lobbying
3.6 Discussion
3.7 Notes on the Literature
3.8 Problems
4 Agency
4.1 Efficient Electoral Competition
4.2 Inefficient Electoral Competition
4.3 Enforceability, Verifiability, and Observability
4.4 Electoral Accountability
4.5 Career Concerns
4.6 Discussion
4.7 Notes on the Literature
4.8 Problems
5 Partisan Politicians
5.1 Policy Convergence
5.2 Policy Divergence
5.3 Endogenous Candidates
5.4 Legislative Bargaining
5.5 Discussion
5.6 Notes on the Literature
5.7 Problems

6 General-Interest Politics
6.1 General Transfers
6.2 Pensions
6.3 Regional Transfers
6.4 Unemployment Insurance
6.5 Discussion
6.6 Notes on the Literature
6.7 Problems
7 Special-Interest Politics
7.1 A Model of Local Public Goods
7.2 Legislative Bargaining
7.3 Lobbying
7.4 Electoral Competition
7.5 Interactions
7.6 Discussion
7.7 Notes on the Literature
7.8 Problems

8 Electoral Rules and Electoral Competition
8.1 The Economic Model
8.2 The Politics of Electoral Competition
8.3 Single-District (Proportional) Elections
8.4 Multiple-District (Majoritarian) Elections
8.5 Broad versus Targeted Redistribution
8.6 Discussion
8.7 Notes on the Literature
8.8 Problems
9 Institutions and Accountability
9.1 Electoral Rules and Career Concerns
9.2 Electoral Rules and Accountability
9.3 Separation of Powers
9.4 Notes on the Literature
9.5 Problems
10 Political Regimes
10.1 Policy Choices in a Simple Legislature
10.2 Presidential-Congressional Regimes
10.3 Parliamentary Regimes
10.4 Discussion
10.5 Notes on the Literature
10.6 Problems

11 Dynamic Policy Problems
11.1 Analyzing Dynamic Policy Games
11.2 Examples
11.3 Discussion
11.4 Notes on the Literature
11.5 Problems
12 Capital Taxation
12.1 A Simple Model of Dynamic Taxation
12.2 Credibility
12.3 Politics
12.4 Tax Competition
12.5 Discussion
12.6 Notes on the Literature
12.7 Problems
13 Public Debt
13.1 A Simple Model of Public Debt
13.2 The Dynamic Common-Pool Problem
13.3 Political Instability
13.4 Delayed Stabilizations
13.5 Debt and Intergenerational Politics
13.6 Discussion
13.7 Notes on the Literature
13.8 Problems
14 Growth
14.1 Income Inequality and Growth
14.2 Political Instability and Growth
14.3 Special Interests, Rents, and Growth
14.4 Other Political Determinants of Growth
14.5 Discussion
14.6 Notes on the Literature
14.7 Problems

15 Credibility of Monetary Policy
15.1 A Simple Model of Monetary Policy
15.2 Ex Ante Optimality
15.3 Credibility
15.4 Reputation
15.5 Dynamics
15.6 Notes on the Literature
15.7 Problems
16 Electoral Cycles
16.1 Career Concerns and Political Business Cycles
16.2 Partisan Cycles
16.3 Notes on the Literature
16.4 Problems
17 Institutions and Incentives
17.1 Simple Rules and Escape Clauses
17.2 Central Bank Independence
17.3 Inflation Targets and Contracts
17.4 Notes on the Literature
17.5 Problems
18 International Policy Coordination
18.1 A Simple Two-Country Model
18.2 Incentives
18.3 Institutions
18.4 Discussion
18.5 Notes on the Literature
18.6 Problems
19 What Next?
19.1 Some Positive Questions
19.2 Analytical Issues
19.3 Concluding Remarks
Author Index
Subject Index