Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Political Economy of Italy's Decline$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrea Lorenzo Capussela

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796992

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198796992.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 January 2020

Vicious Circles and Multiple Equilibria: The Spiral

Vicious Circles and Multiple Equilibria: The Spiral

(p.63) 4 Vicious Circles and Multiple Equilibria: The Spiral
The Political Economy of Italy's Decline

Andrea Lorenzo Capussela

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the theoretical framework of this book, and draws from it the lens through which the roots of Italy’s current decline are then retraced in its history. It exemplifies the main argument by discussing two alternative reactions to the insufficient provision of public goods: an opportunistic one—employing tax evasion, corruption, and clientelism as means to appropriate private goods—and one based on enforcing political accountability. It argues that from the perspective of ordinary citizens and firms such social dilemmas can typically be modelled as coordination games, which have multiple equilibria. Self-interested rationality can thus lead to a spiral, in which several vicious circles run in parallel, reinforce each other, and lead society onto an inefficient equilibrium characterized by low political accountability and weak rule of law. It concludes that in transition societies ideas, freer from the grip of the spiral, can exploit endogenous shocks to reverse it.

Keywords:   social dilemmas, multiple equilibria, vicious circles, rational choice, creative destruction, institutions, equilibrium shift, rule of law, political accountability, Italy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .