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Democracy, Autocracy and Bureaucracy

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  • Dixit Avinash K

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

Democratic and autocratic rulers alike must use a bureaucracy to implement policy. In each case the optimal policy is a second-best solution to this agency problem, giving the bureaucrat some economic rent for information revelation and effort incentive. This paper argues that autocrats are less willing to sacrifice rents, and therefore accept a worse second-best (here less of a public good) than democrats. It also finds a synergistic matching between a democratic ruler and an altruistic bureaucrat who internalizes the citizens' welfare. This synergy is absent for autocrats, but they can gain by extorting from highly altruistic agencies like NGOs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Globalization and Development.

Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-47

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:1:y:2010:i:1:n:1

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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Libman, 2012. "Democracy, size of bureaucracy, and economic growth: evidence from Russian regions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1321-1352, December.
  2. Libman, Alexander, 2013. "Natural resources and sub-national economic performance: Does sub-national democracy matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 82-99.
  3. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "On the cost of rent-seeking by government bureaucrats in a Real-Business-Cycle framework," SIRE Discussion Papers, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) 2013-84, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

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