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The Logic Of Authoritarian Bargains

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  • RAJ M. DESAI
  • ANDERS OLOFSG�RD
  • TARIK M. YOUSEF

Abstract

Dictatorships do not survive by repression alone. Rather, dictatorial rule is often explained as an "authoritarian bargain" by which citizens relinquish political rights for economic security. The applicability of the authoritarian bargain to decision-making in non-democratic states, however, has not been thoroughly examined. We conceptualize this bargain as a simple game between a representative citizen and an autocrat who faces the threat of insurrection, and where economic transfers and political influence are simultaneously determined. Our model yields implications for empirical patterns that are expected to exist. Tests of a system of equations with panel data comprising 80 non-democratic states between 1975 and 1999 generally confirm the predictions of the authoritarian-bargain thesis, with some variation across different categories of dictatorship. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 93-125

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:93-125

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Cited by:
  1. Gehlbach, Scott & Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Investment without democracy: Ruling-party institutionalization and credible commitment in autocracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-139, June.
  2. Martin Gassebner & Michael J. Lamla & James Raymond Vreeland, 2009. "Extreme Bounds of Democracy," KOF Working papers 09-224, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Israel Marques & Eugenia Nazrullaeva & Andrei Yakovlev, 2011. "From Competition to Dominance: Political Determinations of Federal Transfers in Russian Federation," HSE Working papers WP BRP 12/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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