Dictators, Repression and the Median Citizen: An “Eliminations Model” of Stalin’s Terror (Data from the NKVD Archives)
AbstractThis paper sheds light on dictatorial behavior as exemplified by the mass terror campaigns of Stalin. Dictatorships – unlike democracies where politicians choose platforms in view of voter preferences – may attempt to trim their constituency and thus ensure regime survival via the large scale elimination of citizens. We formalize this idea in a simple model and use it to examine Stalin’s three large scale terror campaigns with data from the NKVD state archives that are accessible after more than 60 years of secrecy. Our model traces the stylized facts of Stalin’s terror and identifies parameters such as the ability to correctly identify regime enemies, the actual or perceived number of enemies in the population, and how secure the dictators power base is, as crucial for the patterns and scale of repression.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0091.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Dictatorial systems; Stalinism; Soviet State and Party archives; NKVD; OPGU; Repression;
Other versions of this item:
- Gregory, Paul R. & Schröder, Philipp J.H. & Sonin, Konstantin, 2011. "Rational dictators and the killing of innocents: Data from Stalin's archives," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 34-42, March.
- Gregory, Paul & Schrôder, Philipp & Sonin, Konstantin, 2006. "Dictators, Repression and the Median Citizen: An “Eliminations Model” of Stalin’s Terror (Data from the NKVD Archives)," CEPR Discussion Papers 6014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
- N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
- P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-12-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2006-12-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-HIS-2006-12-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-POL-2006-12-16 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2006-12-16 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-TRA-2006-12-16 (Transition Economics)
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