Time-consistent policy and politics: does voting matter when individuals are identical?

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Anderberg, Dan ; Perroni, Carlo (2003)

We consider the implications of a lack of policy commitment when policies are chosen through a political process and individuals are ex-ante identical. We show that politics, by allowing ex-post distributional tensions to shape policy, can make it possible to sustain non-trivial equilibria in which the commitment problem is alleviated or fully eliminated. How effective politics can be at countering collective commitment problems in homogeneous groups depends on the nature of the political process and on the extent to which private choices are public information.
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