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Choosing Democracy

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  • B. Peter Rosendorff

Abstract

In an autocracy, the ruling elite allocates resources to unproductive contest activities in order to protect its power. This paper establishes that a flatter income distribution, a slow-growing or shrinking capital stock, and a decrease in the relative size of the workforce increases the likelihood of a decision by the ruling elite to negotiate a transition to democracy. In a model of economic cooperation and political conflict, the losses from ceding control over the tax rate may be lower than the costs of defending minority privilege. These predictions are evaluated in the light of the South African and other recent transitions. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics and Politics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 1-29

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:13:y:2001:i:1:p:1-29

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Libman, 2012. "Sub-national political regimes and asymmetric fiscal decentralization," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 302-336, December.
  2. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Working Papers 050623, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
  3. Martin Gassebner & Michael J. Lamla & James Raymond Vreeland, 2013. "Extreme Bounds of Democracy," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 57(2), pages 171-197, April.
  4. Mario Chacón & James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "When is Democracy an Equilibrium?: Theory and Evidence from Colombia’s La Violencia," HiCN Working Papers 21, Households in Conflict Network.
  5. Armey, Laura E. & McNab, Robert M., 2012. "Democratization and civil war," MPRA Paper 42460, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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