Current Series

Dondena Political Economy Seminar Series

  Spring 2018

12.45 pm via Rontgen 1

(Room numbers noted. Titles and abstracts will be posted as they become available.)


(Download the seminar series poster here)

6 February, 12:45pm, Room 3 b3 sr01

James Morrow

University of Michigan

A Theory of Treatymaking

We develop a formal model of multilateral treaty negotiations, showing their key theoretical differences from other forms of negotiations, such as bilateral conflict bargaining and legislative negotiations. We show how the strategic logic of states' negotiation positions and international organization drafting committees' proposals depend on the type of agreements being considered, including what types of public or club goods it generates, and the institutional rules governing ratification and entry into force.

20 February, 12:45pm, Room 3 b3 sr01

Livio Di Lonardo

Bocconi University

The Challenges of Regime Change

In recent years, regime change has been one of the main foreign policy tools used by the US and its allies to shape the international environment to their advantage. However, often overthrowing existing regimes has not delivered on the promise of bringing about more stable and favorable governments.To understand the challenges of regime change, we build a model in which a Foreign Actor seeks to overthrow the Leader of an opponent country. Importantly, the Leader also faces internal challenges to her tenure from an Elite faction, which seeks to overthrow the Leader and gain power. While the Leader and the Foreign Actor have conflicting interests, the Elite may or may not be aligned with the Foreign Actor. When the Elite is aligned with the Foreign Actor, the threat of an intervention from the Foreign Actor sometimes encourages but sometime discourages the Elite from attempting to overthrow the Leader from within. Interestingly, providing material support to the Elite so as to improve the likelihood it could defeat the Leader might not lead the Elite to challenge the Leader more often, forcing the Foreign Actor to intervene directly. Moreover, we show how the Leader benefits from facing an Elite faction that is not aligned with the Foreign Actor, even though this common ground has no effect on the Elite's desire to unseat the Leader. The presence of two hostile factions discourages the Foreign Actor from engaging in regime change, as the end result might not be much of an improvement over the status quo. Leaders who face "rogue Elites" are more likely to survive in power and more likely to impose costs on the Foreign Actor than Leader facing Elites aligned with the Foreign Actor.

8 March, Room 3 b3 sr01

Workshop on Political Economy

26 March, 12:45pm, Room 3 b3 sr01

Johannes Schneider

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Joint with Applied Microeconomics Seminar Series

Managing a Conflict (joint with Benjamin Balzer)

We characterize the design of mechanisms aiming to settle conflicts that otherwise escalate to a costly game. Participation is voluntary. Players have private information about their strength in the escalation game. The designer fully controls settlement negotiations but has no control over the escalation game. We transform the mechanism design problem of conflict management to the information design problem of belief management conditional on escalation. The transformed problem identifies how the properties of the escalation game influence the optimal mechanism. Applying our results to two types of escalation games, we obtain qualitative differences driven by the game’s sensitivity to information.

17 April, 2:30pm, Room 3 b3 sr01

John S. Ahlquist

UC San Diego and Stanford University

The Political Consequences of Economic Shocks:  Evidence from Poland.

How do economic shocks influence domestic politics? We take advantage of a surprise revaluation of the Swiss franc in early 2015 to identify the Polish citizens with clear and direct economic exposure: those repaying mortgages denominated in Swiss francs. Using original survey data collected just prior to the 2015 Polish parliamentary elections and comparing current with past foreign exchange borrowers we show that individuals directly exposed to the shock were much more likely to demand government support. Those with no exposure to the shock were less likely to express an opinion on the matter. Current borrowers’ preferences for a generous resolution scheme translated into distinct voting behavior. Among former government voters, Swiss franc borrowers were more likely to desert the government and vote for the largest opposition party, PiS, which had promised the most generous bailout plan. The evidence suggests that PiS was able to use the franc shock to expand its electoral coalition beyond its core voters to include those directly affected by the franc shock, a subgroup otherwise unlikely to support PiS. Simulation results indicate that absent the franc shock PiS is unlikely to have won a parliamentary majority.

21 May, 12:30pm, Room 5 e4 sr04

Laurent Bouton

Georgetown University

(Joint with Applied Microeconomics Seminar Series)

22 May, 12:45, Room 3 b3 sr01

Antonio Nicolò

University of Padova

Last updated 19 April 2018 - 10:47:09