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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. Olsson, Ola, 2003. "Conflict Diamonds," Working Papers in Economics 86, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 30 Nov 2003.
  2. Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "On the Efficient Organization of Trials," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-62.
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  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Political foundations of the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
  6. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  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.
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  12. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2008:i:2:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. 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.
  3. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  4. 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).
  5. K. Bjorvatn & A. Naghavi, 2010. "Rent seekers in rentier states: When greed brings peace," Working Papers 690, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. 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.
  7. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2006. "Challenges and Opportunities for Resource Rich Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 5688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jacopo Costa & Raul Caruso & Roberto Ricciuti, 2012. "The Probability of Military Rule in Africa, 1970-2007," Working Papers 17/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  9. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  10. 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.

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