Discussion Paper Series in Economics, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
What limits the powerful in imposing the morality of their authority?
Abstract: This paper models a game between an authority, seeking to
implement its preferred morality, and a parental generation, seeking to
socialize a younger generation into the their own morality. The authority
chooses a coercion level for adhering to the non-state morality, whereupon
the parental generation chooses whether to insurrect and, if not, how much
to invest in socialization. The novel feature of this paper is that we
formalize and explore the consequences of an intrinsic negative reaction to
coercion: coercion resentment. The key result is to show the necessary
micro Level assumptions for an inefficient interval of coercion that can
account for authorities choosing to restrain their use of coercion.
Furthermore, the paper characterizes the socialization and insurrection
preferences needed for the long run equilibrium to be path dependent. Two
historical periods are presented through the lens of the model: the
Counter-Reformation in early modern France and the Holy Roman Empire
(1517-1685) and the Soviet Secularization project (1922-1991).
Keywords: Moral persistence; Political legitimacy; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D02; D10; D82; N30; N40; P16; (follow links to similar papers)
99 pages, October 9, 2017
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