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Guarding the guardians

Guimaraes, Bernardo and Sheedy, Kevin D. ORCID: 0000-0002-0247-6323 (2017) Guarding the guardians. The Economic Journal, 127 (606). pp. 2441-2477. ISSN 0013-0133

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ecoj.12379


Good government requires some restraints on the powerful, but how can those be impose if there is no-one above them? This paper studies the equilibrium allocation of power and resources established by self-interested incumbents under the threat of rebellions from inside and outside the group in power. Commitment to uphold individuals' rights can only be achieved if power is not as concentrated as incumbents would like it to be, ex post. Power sharing endogenously enables incumbents to commit to otherwise time-inconsistent laws by ensuring more people receive rents under the status quo, and thus want to defend it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Royal Economic Society
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D74 - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
P - Economic Systems > P4 - Other Economic Systems > P48 - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 16:30
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:25

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