Strategies and Public Propositions in Games of Institutional Change: Theory and Comparative Historical Cases

60 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2014 Last revised: 5 Jun 2014

Date Written: June 3, 2014

Abstract

This paper argues that game-theoretic approach is incomplete for institutional studies, because comparative institutions as well as institutional changes involve a possibility of multiple equilibria. In order to solve the common knowledge problem, this paper proposes to unify game theoretic thought with an analysis of public representations/propositions to summarize salient features of the recursive/emergent states of play. From this perspective the paper tries to reconcile differences in three accounts of institutions: endogenous outcome, exogenous rules and constitutive rules accounts. Then, the unified approach is applied to comparative and historical cases of the Tokugawa Japan and the Qing China. Specifically it sheds new light into the coalitional nature of Tokugawa Baku-Han regime nesting the fundamental Samurai-village pact as well as the tendency toward decentralization of political violence and fiscal competence to the provincial level toward the end of the Qing China. From these new historical interpretations, endogenous strategic forces and associated public propositions leading to institutional changes through the Meiji Restoration and the Xinhai Revolution are identified and compared.

Keywords: comparative institutions, institutional change, unified approach to institutions, History of Chinese and Japanese political economies

JEL Classification: B52, G70, N00, O53, P50

Suggested Citation

Aoki, Masahiko, Strategies and Public Propositions in Games of Institutional Change: Theory and Comparative Historical Cases (June 3, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2445628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2445628

Masahiko Aoki (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

E314 Encina Hall
Stanford, CA 94305-6015
United States
415-723-3975 (Phone)
415-725-5702 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~aoki

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