Why is there no Revolution in North-Korea? The Political Economy of Revolution Revisited
AbstractIn this paper the political economy of revolutions is revisited, as it has been developed and applied in a number of publications by Acemoglu and Robinson. We criticize the fact that these authors abstract from collective-action problems and focus on inequality of income or wealth instead. In doing so, they reanimate a long but misleading tradition in social sciences, namely to directly deduct prospective group behavior from the collective interest of a group. We show that, because of collective-action problems, income inequality is not a sufficient condition for a revolution to occur. Furthermore, we also show that inequality does not even need to be a necessary condition, since all what is needed in order for a group to be interested in a revolution is that this group as a whole can expect to be a beneficiary of a revolution. For the latter to apply, however, inequality is not necessary. Hence, not inequality but rather a certain structure of commitment devices or their absence is crucial for explaining why revolutions sometimes occur and sometimes not.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary in its series Working Papers with number 200102.
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Credible Commitments; Dictatorship; Political Economy; Redistribution;
Other versions of this item:
- Apolte, Thomas, 2010. "Why is there no revolution in North-Korea? The political economy of revolution revisited," CAWM Discussion Papers 29, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
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