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Who Needs Strong Leaders?

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  • Alberto Chong

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  • Mark Gradstein

Abstract

This paper’s model suggests that a strong leader, sometimes with little legislative oversight, may nevertheless benefit from public support. The argument is that this support is induced as an attempt by the poor to counter the subversion of public protection of property rights by the rich, and to achieve this goal they are often willing to pay the price of the leader’s diversion of tax revenues for private use. The paper then examines survey data on individual attitudes toward strong leadership and finds their pattern to be consistent with the model’s predictions; specifically, support for strong leadership is inversely related to individual income and to countrywide income inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4563.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4563

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  1. Konstantin Sonin, 2003. "Why the Rich May Favor Poor Protection of Property Rights," Working Papers w0022, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  2. Grossman, Herschel I., 2002. ""Make us a king": anarchy, predation, and the state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-46, March.
  3. Matteo Bobba & Decio Coviello, 2006. "Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Estimating the Effects of Education on Democracy," Research Department Publications 4472, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Konrad, Kai A & Skaperdas, Stergios, 1999. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  7. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," NBER Working Papers 13102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Glaeser, Edward & Scheinkman, Jose & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The injustice of inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 199-222, January.
  9. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
  10. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2005. "The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 131-150, Winter.
  11. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Why Doesn't Capitalism Flow to Poor Countries?," NBER Working Papers 13164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  13. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-83, May.
  14. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  15. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
  16. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Branko Milanovic, 1999. "Explaining the increase in inequality during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 299-341, July.
  18. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  19. Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Treisman, 2005. "A Normal Country: Russia After Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 151-174, Winter.
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