Swipe to navigate through the articles of this issue
Numerous empirical studies have investigated the direction of causality between democracy and economic growth (as well as the level of income per capita), but this empirical work has been paralleled by relatively few theoretical models that endogenize the institutional structure of the regime. Moreover, the different types of autocratic regimes have received relatively little attention. This paper develops a game-theoretic model of endogenous economic policy in autocratic regimes facing a revolt or an insurgency. In this model, there are three players: the regime, the rebels, and the masses. There are three stages in the game. In the first stage, the regime determines the level of infrastructure and the tax rate. In the second stage, the masses allocate their time between production and helping the rebels. In the third stage, the regime and the rebels simultaneously choose their fighting effort levels in a contest, in which the probability of survival of the regime is determined. It is found that autocratic regimes facing a revolt endogenously sort themselves into “tinpot” regimes that maximize their consumption at the cost of their survival, and (weak and strong) “totalitarian” regimes that maximize their probability of survival at the expense of their consumption. Empirical implications of the model are derived, and the relevance of the model to public policy is discussed.
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2001). A theory of political transitions. American Economic Review, 91, 938–963. CrossRef
Alesina, A., Ozler, S., Roubini, N., & Swagel, P. (1996). Political instability and economic growth. Journal of Economic Growth, 1, 189–211. CrossRef
Arendt, H. (1951). The origins of totalitarianism. New York: Schocken.
Arshinov, V., & Fuchs, C. (2003). Preface. In V. Arshinov & C. Fuchs (Eds.), Causality, emergence, self-organization (pp. 5–18). Moscow: NIA-Priroda.
Bar-El, R. (2009). Dictatorships, development, and the virtue of political instability. Public Choice, 138, 29–44. CrossRef
Barro, R. (1996a). Democracy and growth. Journal of Economic Growth, 1, 1–27. CrossRef
Barro, R. (1996b). Getting it right. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Boix, C., & Stokes, S. C. (2003). Endogenous democratization. World Politics, 55, 517–549. CrossRef
Brezis, E. S., & Schnytzer, A. (2003). Why are the transition paths in China and Eastern Europe so different? A political economy perspective. Economics of Transition, 11, 3–23. CrossRef
Chaturvedi, A., & Münster, J. (2007). Long live the king? On dictatorship and development. Berlin: WZB. Unpublished.
Chong, A., & Calderon, C. (2000). Causality and feedback between institutional measures and economic growth. Economics and Politics, 12, 69–81. CrossRef
Cordless, R. M., Gonnet, G. H., Hare, D. E. G., Jeffrey, D. J., & Knuth, D. E. (1996). On Lambert’s W function. Advances in Computational Mathematics, 5, 329–359. CrossRef
Galetovic, A., & Sanhueza, R. (2000). Citizens, autocrats, and plotters: a model and new evidence on coups d’etat. Economics and Politics, 12, 183–204. CrossRef
Gallego, M. (1998). Economic performance and leadership accountability: an econometric analysis. Economics and Politics, 10, 249–296. CrossRef
Gallego, M., & Pitchik, C. (2004). An economic theory of leadership turnover. Journal of Public Economics, 88, 2361–2382. CrossRef
Gasiorowski, M. J. (1995). Economic crises and political regime change: an event history analysis. American Political Science Review, 89, 882–897. CrossRef
Glaeser, E. L., La Porta, R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F., & Shleifer, A. (2004). Do institutions cause growth? Journal of Economic Growth, 9, 271–303. CrossRef
Grossman, H. I., & Noh, S. J. (1994). Proprietary public finance and economic welfare. Journal of Public Economics, 53, 187–204. CrossRef
Gundlach, E., & Paldam, M. (2009). A farewell to critical junctures: sorting out long-run causality of income and democracy. European Journal of Political Economy, 25, 34–54. CrossRef
Guttman, J. M., Hilger, N., & Shachmurove, Y. (1994). Voting as investment vs. voting as consumption: new evidence. Kyklos, 27, 197–207. CrossRef
Haggard, S., & Kaufman, R. R. (1995). The political economy of democratic transitions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hillman, A., & Riley, J. G. (1989). Politically contestable rents and transfers. Economics and Politics, 1, 17–39. CrossRef
Hirshleifer, J. (1989). Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: ratio vs. difference models of relative success. Public Choice, 38, 101–112. CrossRef
Hirshleifer, J. (1995). Theorizing about conflict. In K. Hartley & T. Sandler (Eds.), Handbook of defense economics (Vol. 1, pp. 165–189). Amsterdam: Elsevier. CrossRef
Islam, M. N., & Winer, S. L. (2004). Tinpots, totalitarians (and democrats): an empirical investigation of the effects of economic growth on civil liberties and political rights. Public Choice, 118, 289–323. CrossRef
Kauffman, S. A. (1993). The origins of order: self-organization and selection in evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.
Knack, S., & Keefer, P. (1995). Institutions and economic performance: cross-country tests using alternative measures. Economics and Politics, 7, 207–227. CrossRef
Lipset, S. M. (1959). Some social requisites of democracy: economic development and political legitimacy. American Political Science Review, 53, 69–105. CrossRef
Londregan, J. B., Bienen, H., & van de Walle, N. (1995). Ethnicity and leadership succession in Africa. International Studies Quarterly, 39, 1–25. CrossRef
Londregan, J. B., & Poole, K. T. (1990). Poverty, the coup trap, and the seizure of executive power. World Politics, 42, 151–183. CrossRef
Mauro, P. (1995). Corruption and growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110, 681–712. CrossRef
McBride, M. (2005). Crises, reforms, and regime persistence in sub-Saharan Africa. European Journal of Political Economy, 21, 688–707. CrossRef
McGuire, M. C., & Olson M. Jr., (1996). The economics of autocracy and majority rule: the invisible hand and the use of force. Journal of Economic Literature, 34, 72–96.
O’Kane, R. H. T. (1987). The likelihood of coups. Aldershot: Avebury.
Olson M. Jr. (1993). Dictatorship, democracy, and development. American Political Science Review, 87, 567–576. CrossRef
Overland, J., Simons, K. L., & Spagat, M. (2005). Political instability and growth in dictatorships. Public Choice, 125, 445–470. CrossRef
Przeworski, A., & Limongi, F. (1997). Modernization: theories and facts. World Politics, 49, 155–183. CrossRef
Przeworski, A., Alvarez, M. E., Cheibub, J. A., & Limongi, F. (2000). Democracy and development: political institutions and well-being in the world, 1950–1990. New York: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
Robinson, J. A. (1999). When is a state predatory? Harvard University. Unpublished.
Roemer, J. E. (1985). Rationalizing revolutionary ideology: a tale of Lenin and the tsar. Econometrica, 53, 85–108. CrossRef
Shughart, W. F. (2006). An analytical history of terrorism. Public Choice, 128, 7–39. CrossRef
Skaperdas, S., & Syropolous, C. (1996). Can the shadow of the future harm cooperation? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 29, 355–372. CrossRef
Smith, B. (2004). Oil wealth and regime survival in the developing world, 1960–1999. American Journal of Political Science, 48, 232–246. CrossRef
Tullock, G. (1974). The social dilemma: the economics of war and revolution. Blacksburg: Center for Study of Public Choice.
Tullock, G. (1980). Efficient rent seeking. In J. M. Buchanan, R. D. Tollison, & G. Tullock (Eds.), Toward a theory of the rent-seeking society (pp. 97–112). College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
Tullock, G. (1987). Autocracy. Dordrecht: Nijhoff. CrossRef
Wintrobe, R. (1990). The tinpot and the totalitarian: an economic theory of dictatorship. American Political Science Review, 84, 849–872. CrossRef
Tullock, G. (2001). Monarchies, hereditary and non-hereditary. In W. F. Shughart II & L. Razzolini (Eds.), The Elgar companion to public choice (pp. 140–156). Cheltenham Gloss: Edward Elgar.
Wintrobe, R. (1998). The political economy of dictatorship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
Wintrobe, R. (2004). Rational revolutions. Homo Oeconomicus, 21, 171–196.
- On revolt and endogenous economic policy in autocratic regimes
Joel M. Guttman
- Publication date
- Springer US
Neuer Inhalt/© Stellmach, Neuer Inhalt/© Maturus, Pluta Logo/© Pluta