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Soldiers or Bureaucrats?Conflict and the Military’s Role in Policy-Making

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  • Gabriel Leon

Abstract

One of the most striking institutional features of many less developed countries is that their militaries are closely involved in policy-making, potentially having a large impact on economic outcomes. This paper examines the role of the military in setting policy. For this purpose it develops one of the first models of the military, where its political involvement can take two forms: direct when the military runs the government, and indirect when it influences policy without governing directly. We focus on civilian regimes and find that war decreases the payoff to the military from both forms of involvement, but also makes staging successful coups easier. In equilibrium, an increase in the likelihood of war makes indirect involvement less likely; its impact on coups, which are aimed at establishing direct control, is non-monotonic. We show empirical evidence for this non-monotonic relationship, withcoups being least likely for low and high probabilities of war.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series with number 012.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:012

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: institutions; conflict; political economy; military; war; coups;

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  1. Besley, Timothy J. & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 6371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2008. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," Papers 03-10-2008a, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  5. Sylvain Chassang & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2008. "Conflict and Deterrence under Strategic Risk," NBER Working Papers 13964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Leon, G., 2012. "Loyalty for Sale? Military Spending and Coups d'Etat," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1209, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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