Policy Persistence and Drift in Organizations

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4 Scopus citations


This paper models the evolution of organizations that allow free entry and exit of members, such as cities and trade unions. In each period, current members choose a policy for the organization. Policy changes attract newcomers and drive away dissatisfied members, altering the set of future policymakers. The resulting feedback effects take the organization down a “slippery slope” that converges to a myopically stable policy, even if the agents are forward-looking, but convergence becomes slower the more patient they are. The model yields a tractable characterization of the steady state and the transition dynamics. The analysis is also extended to situations in which the organization can exclude members, such as enfranchisement and immigration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-279
Number of pages29
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Dynamic policy choice
  • endogenous population
  • median voter
  • slippery slope
  • transition dynamics


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