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Inefficient Predation, Information, and Contagious Institutional Change

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  • Paul Maarek
  • Michael Dorsch

    ()
    (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise
    The American University of Paris)

Abstract

This paper presents an agency theory of revolutionary political transitions from autocracy to democracy. We model authoritarian economic policy as the equilibrium outcome of a repeated game between an elite ruling class and a disenfranchised working class, in which workers have imperfect information about the elite's policy choice and the economy's productive capacity. We characterize the conditions under which, in equilibrium, (i) the elite will set inecient economic institutions under the threat of revolution, (ii) information shocks can catalyze democratic revolutions that may be contagious among similar countries, and (iii) democracy can be consolidated following a political transition

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2012-32.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2012-32

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Keywords: Political transition; Revolution; Asymmetric information; Contagion; Democratic consolidation; Arab Spring;

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  9. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The origins of state capacity: property rights, taxation and politics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33768, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "Institutions, Factor Prices and Taxation: Virtues of Strong States?," NBER Working Papers 15693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
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  13. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Chassang, Sylvain & Miquel, Gerard Padró i, 2009. "Economic Shocks and Civil War," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 211-228, October.
  15. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  16. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  17. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Paul Maarek & Michael Dorsch & Karl Dunz, 2012. "Macro Shocks, Regulatory Quality and Costly Political Action," THEMA Working Papers 2012-41, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  2. Dorsch, Michael & Dunz, Karl & Maarek, Paul, 2012. "Asymmetric Information and Inefficient Regulation of Firms Under the Threat of Revolution," MPRA Paper 38879, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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