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The Politics of Co-optation

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  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Spagat, Michael

Abstract

Group 1 holds political power. Group 2 threatens this power. Group 1 decreases the upheaval probability by co-opting some agents from Group 2 into a more benign Group 3. Improvements in upheaval technology lead to less co-optation. Increasing the relative size of Group 1 implies larger co-optation payments to a smaller group, decreasing the total resources committed to co-optation. In an extension in which Group 3 also threatens Group 1, although less destructively than does Group 2, co-optation transfers are reduced. Growth causes political stabilization. The theory applies to the origin of the welfare state, post-communist privatization and other situations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 591-607

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:29:y:2001:i:4:p:591-607

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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  1. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Roemer, John E, 1985. "Rationalizing Revolutionary Ideology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 85-108, January.
  3. 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.
  4. Horowitz, Andrew W, 1993. "Time Paths of Land Reform: A Theoretical Model of Reform Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1003-10, September.
  5. James A. Robinson, 1999. "When is a State Predatory?," CESifo Working Paper Series 178, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Biais, Bruno & Perotti, Enrico C, 1998. "Machiavellian Underpricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 2014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  9. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. " Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
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