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The Political Economics of the Arab Spring

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  • Roland Hodler

Abstract

The Arab Spring has led to very different outcomes across the Arab world. I present a highly stylized model of the Arab Spring to better understand these differences. In this model, dictators from the ethnic or religious majority group concede power if their country is oil-poor, but can stay in power by bribing the people if their country is oil-rich. Dictators from the minority group often rely on other members of their group to repress protests and to fight the majority group if necessary. These predictions are consistent with observed outcomes in Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-12/cesifo1_wp4023.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4023.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4023

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Keywords: Arab Spring; political transitions; repression; civil conflict; oil; divided societies;

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  1. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural resource distribution and multiple forms of civil war," IEW - Working Papers 498, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Kevin K. Tsui, 2011. "More Oil, Less Democracy: Evidence from Worldwide Crude Oil Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 89-115, March.
  4. Hodler, Roland, 2006. "The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1367-1386, August.
  5. Raphaёl Franck & Ilia Rainer, 2012. "Does the Leader’s Ethnicity Matter? Ethnic Favoritism, Education and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2012-06, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
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