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A Theory of Civil Conflict and Democracy in Rentier States

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  • Silje Aslaksen
  • Ragnar Torvik

Abstract

The effects of resource rents on the political equilibrium have been studied in two main types of models. The first tradition uses models of conflict, and studies how resource rents affect the intensity and duration of civil conflict. The second tradition uses political economy models, where resource rents affect the political equilibrium due to changes in the costs and benefits of buying votes. Although they provide considerable insight, these traditions have little to say about when democracy emerges, and about when conflict emerges. In this paper, by integrating the earlier model traditions, we suggest the simplest possible framework we can think of to study the choice between conflict and democracy. We show how factors such as resource rents, the extent of electoral competition, and productivity affect economic and political equilibria. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2006 .

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 108 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 571-585

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:108:y:2006:i:4:p:571-585

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  6. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene, 2002. "Battlefields and marketplaces," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 485-496.
  7. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A & Verdier, Thierry, 2003. "Kleptocracy and Divide-and-Rule: A Model of Personal Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 4059, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  11. Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "On the Efficient Organization of Trials," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-62.
  12. Bardhan, Pranab & Yang, Tsung-Tao, 2004. "Political Competition in Economic Perspective," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1907c39n, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
  14. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Alireza Naghavi, 2010. "Rent seekers in rentier states: When greed brings peace," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 039, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  3. Shaun Larcom & Mare Sarr & Tim Willems, 2014. "Dictators Walking the Mogadishu Line: How Men Become Monsters and Monsters Become Men," HiCN Working Papers 176, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 005, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2006. "Challenges and Opportunities for Resource Rich Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 5688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Raul Caruso & Jacopo Costa & Roberto Ricciuti, 2011. "The probability of military rule in Africa, 1970-2007," Working Papers 2011/26, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  7. Nasrollahi Shahri, Nima, 2010. "Natural resource wealth “a truly double edged sword?”: a comparative study between Iran and Norway," MPRA Paper 25639, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Naghavi, Alireza, 2011. "Rent seeking and regime stability in rentier states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 740-748.
  9. Dibeh, Ghassan, 2008. "Resources and the Political Economy of State Fragility in Conflict States: Iraq and Somalia," Working Paper Series RP2008/35, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2010. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3125, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2008:i:2:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS

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