On the fluctuations induced by majority voting
On the emergence of parliamentary government: the role of private information
The way many dictators have been deposed in the 20th century resembles the way a parliamentary form of government emerged in 13th-century England. This medieval example is worth examining because the features that led to its political reform are particularly clear. Despite what many think, that reform cannot be understood simply as a shift in military power from ruler to subjects. Rather, understanding the reform requires understanding that the English king had recently acquired private information crucial to his subjects. Such private information became important after England lost Normandy ...
Education, political instability, and growth
Empirical evidence suggests a positive association between income levels and growth rates on the one hand, and political stability and educational attainment on the other. This paper develops a simple finite--horizon overlapping growth model that in the absence of institutions for precommitment has a political equilibrium with inefficiently low growth, low educational attainment, and high returns to schooling. In the model, the laissez-faire growth rate is inefficient due to an intergenerational externality in the decision to accumulate knowledge. We then contrast the efficient growth rate ...
Putting stock in political races
Virginia's 1994 U.S. Senate race has commanded national attention as high-profile candidates contend for a single seat.
The politics of central bank independence: a theory of pandering and learning in government
We propose a theory to explain why, and under what circumstances, a politician endogenously gives up rent and delegates policy tasks to an independent agency. Applied to monetary policy, this theory (i) formalizes the rationale for delegation highlighted by Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and by Alan S. Blinder, former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and (ii) does not rely on the inflation bias that underlies most existing theories of central bank independence. Delegation trades off the cost of having a ...
Exclusion in all-pay auctions
A description of a procedure for increasing the seller's expected revenue in an all-pay auction, specifically in the case of lobbying, where a politician is typically assumed to award the political prize to the highest bidder.