The Violent and the Weak: When Dictators Care About Social Contracts
AbstractThis paper explores the conditions under which compliance with a social contract establishes an equilibrium in a society. It is assumed that society consists of two groups, one of which has a comparative advantage in using violence, whereas the other one has a comparative advantage in producing a private good. Violence can be used to produce security as well as to exploit the weaker group. Yet, exploitation is limited: it reduces the incentives of the exploited group to produce the private good and increases the chances of a revolution. A social contract consists of the exchange of security against a share of the private good, produced at a high level of effort. The model not only allows the derivation of conditions for either compliance or exploitation to occur, but also sheds light on the transition from one form of government to the other. Hence, it contributes to Positive Constitutional Economics, i.e., the research program that is interested in explaining the emergence and the change of constitutions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Berkeley Electronic Press in its series German Working Papers in Law and Economics with number 2001-default/2001/1-1020.
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self-enforcing contracts; rule of law; dictatorship; autocracy; Positive Constitutional Economics;
Other versions of this item:
- Kirstein, Roland & Voigt, Stefan, 2000. "The Violent and the Weak: When Dictators Care About Social Contracts," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2000-02, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
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- Petros Sekeris, 2011.
"Endogenous elites: power structure and patron-client relationships,"
Economics of Governance,
Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 237-258, September.
- Petros G. Sekeris, 2010. "Endogenous Elites: Power Structure and Patron-Client Relationships," Working Papers 1008, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
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