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Dictatorship in a Single Export Crop Economy

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  • Lode Berlage
  • Bart Capeau
  • Philip Verwimp

Abstract

Is it a matter of pure altruism or shortsightedness when a dictator spends an increasing amount of his revenues for the population, while cutting on own consumption? In order to be able to consume, the dictator first has to stay in power. We present a formal model of a power maximizing dictator. His revenues depend on the exports of a single crop. With the export earnings the dictator buys loyalty from the producers of the export crop by setting the domestic producer price. Revenues resulting from the di®erence between the international and the domestic price of the crop are used to finance a repressive apparatus. We characterize the optimal trade-o® between buying more loyalty and adapting the level of repression. The model is illustrated with a case study of Rwanda under president Habyarimana (1973-94).

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0311.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0311

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Keywords: dictatorship; political economy; co®ee; Rwanda.;

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  1. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  3. Hardle, W., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Papers 9206, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  4. Lam, R., 1999. "Dictatorship as a Political Dutch Disease," Papers 795, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  5. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, April.
  6. Ricky Lam & Leonard Wantchekon, 1999. "Dictatorships as a Political Dutch Disease," Working Papers 795, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Verwimp, Philip, 2003. "The political economy of coffee, dictatorship, and genocide," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 161-181, June.
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