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Beyond Divide-and-Rule: Sparking Civil War to Hold on Power

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Author Info

  • Petros Sekeris

    ()
    (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

  • Giacomo De Luca

    ()
    (Department of Economics, KU Leuven)

Abstract

We propose a model where an autocrat rules over an ethnically divided society. The dictator carefully selects the tax rate over the subjects' production and the nation's natural resources to maximize his rent under the threat of a revolution. We show that it may be in the interest of a weak ruler to foster civil strife to enhance his taxing capacity. By exacerbating existing group antagonisms the leader weakens potential opposition, thereby allowing him to increase fiscal pressure. Important stocks of natural resources and an unequal distribution of these resources across ethnic groups makes this strategy more profitable for the ruler.

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File URL: http://www.fundp.ac.be/eco/economie/recherche/wpseries/wp/1102.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Namur, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1102.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nam:wpaper:1102

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Keywords: Autocracy; Divide-and-Rule;

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  1. Giacomo Luca & Petros Sekeris, 2012. "Land inequality and conflict intensity," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 119-135, January.
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