Self-Serving Dictators and Economic Growth
AbstractA new line of theoretical and empirical literature emphasizes the pivotal role of fair institutions for growth.We present a model, a laboratory experiment, and a simple cross-country regression supporting this view.We model an economy with an unequal distribution of property rights, in which individuals can free-ride or cooperate.Experimentally we observe a dramatic drop in cooperation (and growth), when inequality is increased by a selfserving dictator.No such effect is observed when the inequality is increased by a fair procedure.Our regression analysis provides basic macroeconomic support for the adverse growth effect of the interaction between the degree and the genesis of inequality.We conclude that economies giving equal opportunities to all are not likely to suffer retarded growth due to inequality in the way economies with self-serving dictators will.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2003-120.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
economic growth; inequality; corruption; public goods;
Other versions of this item:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-01-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2004-01-05 (Development)
- NEP-MFD-2004-01-05 (Microfinance)
- NEP-POL-2004-01-05 (Positive Political Economics)
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