Elite-biased democracies are those democracies in which former political incumbents and their allies coordinate to impose part of the autocratic institutional rules in the new political regime. We document that this type of democratic transition is much more prevalent than the emergence of pure (popular) democracies in which the majority decides the new institutional rules. We then develop a theoretical model explaining how an elite-biased democracy may arise in an initially autocratic country. To this end, we extend the benchmark political transition model of Acemoglu and Robinson (2005) along two essential directions. First, population is split into majority versus minority groups under the initial autocratic regime. Second, the minority is an insider as it benefits from a more favourable redistribution by the autocrat. We derive conditions under which elite-biased democracies emerge and characterise them, in particular with respect to pure democracies.
Intermediary organisations have increasingly played a role in payments for agri-environment services across Europe over the last two decades. However, the economics literature has so far not examined the impact of this new governance mechanism on environmental protection and on individuals' behaviour. We develop a new theoretical economic framework to compare an incentive mechanism using intermediaries, such as environmental knowledge brokers and information providers, with a standard central governance mechanism, in terms of environmental impact. We show that the emergence of knowledge intermediaries is particularly effective where farmers initially have low environmental awareness, or when the public institution organising the scheme is insufficiently aware of individuals' characteristics. Our findings provide theoretical support for previous empirical results on payment schemes for agri-environment measures.
As illustrated by some French departments, how can we explain the existence of equilibria with different fertility and growth rates in economies with the same fundamentals, preferences, technologies and initial conditions? To answer this question we develop an endogenous growth model with altruism and love for children. We show that independently from the type of altruism, a multiplicity of equilibria might emerge if the degree of love for children is high enough. We refer to this condition as the love for children hypothesis. Then, the fertility rate is determined by expectations on the future growth rate and the dynamics are not path-dependent. Our model is able to reproduce different fertility behaviours in a context of completed demographic transition independently from fundamentals, preferences, technologies and initial conditions.
In this paper, we study the production and dissemination of public knowledge goods, such as technological knowledge, generated by a network of voluntarily cooperating innovators. We develop a private-collective model of public knowledge production in networked innovation systems, where group-based social preferences have an impact on the coalition formation of developers. Our model builds on the large empirical literature on voluntary production of pooled public knowledge goods, including source code in communities of software developers or data provided to open access data repositories. Our analysis shows under which conditions social preferences, such as ‘group belonging’ or ‘peer approval’, influence the stable coalition size, as such rationalising several stylized facts emerging from large-scale surveys of open-source software developers, previously unaccounted for. Furthermore, heterogeneity of social preferences is added to the model to study the formation of stable but mixed coalitions.
This paper aims to get a better understanding of the motivational and transaction cost features of building global scientific research commons, with a view to contributing to the debate on the design of appropriate policy measures under the recently adopted Nagoya Protocol. For this purpose, the paper analyses the results of a world-wide survey of managers and users of microbial culture collections, which focused on the role of social and internalized motivations, organizational networks and external incentives in promoting the public availability of upstream research assets. Overall, the study confirms the hypotheses of the social production model of information and shareable goods, but it also shows the need to complete this model. For the sharing of materials, the underlying collaborative economy in excess capacity plays a key role in addition to the social production, while for data, competitive pressures amongst scientists tend to play a bigger role.
Compensation payments to farmers for the provision of agri-environmental services are a well-established policy scheme under the EU Common Agricultural Policy. However, in spite of the success in most EU countries in the uptake of the programme by farmers, the impact of the scheme on the long term commitment of farmers to change their practices remains poorly documented. To explore this issue, this paper presents the results of structured field interviews and a quantitative survey in the Walloon Region of Belgium. The main finding of this study is that farmers who have periodic contacts with network bridging organisations that foster cooperation and social learning in the agri-environmental landscapes show a higher commitment to change. This effect is observed both for farmers with high and low concern for biodiversity depletion. Support for network bridging organisations is foreseen under the EU Leader programme and the EU regulation 1306/2013, which could open-up interesting opportunities for enhancing the effectiveness of the current payment scheme for agri-environmental services.
We revisit the question of why fertility behaviors and educational decisions appear to vary systematically across ethnic groups. We assess the possibility that differences in fertility across groups remain even though their socio-economic characteristics are similar. More specifically, we consider that parents’ fertility decisions are affected by the uncertainty concerning the future economic status of their offspring. We assume that this uncertainty varies across groups and is linked to the size of the group one belongs to. We find theoretical support for the minority status hypothesis according to which members of large minorities usually have a higher fertility than those in the majority facing low potential for social mobility while small minorities have lower fertility. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013
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