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Rational dictators and the killing of innocents: Data from Stalin's archives

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  • Gregory, Paul R.
  • Schröder, Philipp J.H.
  • Sonin, Konstantin

Abstract

We posit a rational choice model of dictatorship to explain the tendency of dictators to repress innocent citizens. This model demonstrates that, when the quality of information about regime enemies is low, a rational dictator will knowingly kill and imprison citizens who are not real enemies. We use the formerly secret Stalin archives to test this proposition against the stylized facts of Stalin's three major repressions.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 34-42

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:34-42

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

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Keywords: Dictatorial systems Stalinism Soviet State and Party archives NKVD OPGU;

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References

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  1. Valery Lazarev, 2005. "Economics of One-Party State: Promotion Incentives and Support for the Soviet Regime1," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(2), pages 346-363, June.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Curley Effect: The Economics of Shaping the Electorate," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-19, April.
  5. Jody Overland & Kenneth Simons & Michael Spagat, 2005. "Political instability and growth in dictatorships," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 445-470, December.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Curley Effect," NBER Working Papers 8942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lazarev, Valery, 2007. "Political labor market, government policy, and stability of a non-democratic regime," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 546-563, September.
  8. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, April.
  9. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do democracies have different public policies than non-democracies?," Discussion Papers 0304-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Eugenia Belova & Paul Gregory, 2009. "Political economy of crime and punishment under Stalin," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 463-478, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Ferrero, Mario, 2013. "Extermination as a substitute for assimilation or deportation: an economic approach," POLIS Working Papers 174, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  2. Konstantin Sonin & Georgy Egorov & Daron Acemoglu, 2013. "Political Economy in a Changing World," 2013 Meeting Papers 386, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. 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.
  4. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Secrecy, Fear and Transaction Costs: The Business of Soviet Forced Labour in the Early Cold War," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 47, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  5. Andrei Markevich, 2007. "The Dictator’s Dilemma: to Punish or to Assist? Plan Failures and Interventions under Stalin," Working Papers w0107, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. repec:cge:warwcg:46 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Dmitriy Vorobyev, 2010. "Growth of Electoral Fraud in Non-Democracies: The Role of Uncertainty," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp420, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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  1. Benutzer Diskussion:Atomiccocktail/Archiv/2010 in Wikipedia German ne '')

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