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The Political Economics of the Arab Spring

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  • Roland Hodler

Abstract

The Arab Spring has led to very different outcomes across the Arab world. I present a highly stylized model of the Arab Spring to better understand these differences. In this model, dictators from the ethnic or religious majority group concede power if their country is oil-poor, but can stay in power by bribing the people if their country is oil-rich. Dictators from the minority group often rely on other members of their group to repress protests and to fight the majority group if necessary. These predictions are consistent with observed outcomes in Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 101.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:101

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Keywords: Arab Spring; political transitions; repression; civil conflict; oil; divided societies;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  2. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," OxCarre Working Papers 050, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Roland Hodler, 2004. "The Curse of Natural Resources in Fractionalized Countries," Diskussionsschriften dp0404, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  4. Raphaёl Franck & Ilia Rainer, 2012. "Does the Leader’s Ethnicity Matter? Ethnic Favoritism, Education and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2012-06, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  5. Kevin K. Tsui, 2011. "More Oil, Less Democracy: Evidence from Worldwide Crude Oil Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 89-115, March.
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