Citizenry Accountability in Autocracies. The Political Economy of Good Governance in China
AbstractDo the citizens have a role in constraining policies in autocratic governments? Usually the political and economic literature model autocracy as if the citizens have no role in constraining leader’s behavior, but actually autocratic government are afraid of possible citizens’ revolts. In this paper we focus on contemporary China to analyze how citizens might induce an autocratic government to adopt congruent policies. Although there is no party or electoral competition, the leader fears deposition by coup d’état of the selectorate and revolutionary threats from citizens. We build a three player political agency model to study the role of both these constraints and we show that the effectiveness of the selectorate and of revolutionary threats are crucial factors in determining the policy outcomes. In particular, we show that the citizens can effectively discipline the leader because of the revolution threat notwithstanding the selectorate size, but this may result in a failed state when the costs of revolting and the selectorate size are small. As the size of the selectorate and the costs of revolution vary dramatically across countries, our result explain why different types of autocracies arise. In particular our model and results provide a useful framework to interpret China policy in the last twenty years.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Network of European Peace Scientists in its series NEPS Working Papers with number 3/2012.
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 05 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Autocracy; Accountability; Revolt; Chinese Economic Reform;
Other versions of this item:
- Gilli, Mario & Li, Yuan, 2012. "Citizenry Accountability in Autocracies: The Political Economy of Good Governance in China," Working Paper Series 2012-23, China Economic Research Center, Stockholm School of Economics.
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-09-22 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-DEV-2012-09-22 (Development)
- NEP-POL-2012-09-22 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2012-09-22 (Transition Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Peter Murrell, 1991. "Can Neoclassical Economics Underpin the Reform of Centrally Planned Economies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 59-76, Fall.
- Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005.
"Income and Democracy,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dani Rodrik, 1998.
"Democracies Pay Higher Wages,"
NBER Working Papers
6364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2007.
"Democratization And Growth,"
CEDI Discussion Paper Series
07-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
- Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland, .
"Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint,"
97045, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- McMillan, John & Naughton, Barry, 1992. "How to Reform a Planned Economy: Lessons from China," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 130-43, Spring.
- Mario Gilli & Yuan Li, 2013. "A Model of Chinese Central Government: the Role of Reciprocal Accountability," Working Papers 230, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007.
"Making Autocracy Work,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 48, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009.
"Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 13334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
- Murrell, Peter, 1992. " Evolutionary and Radical Approaches to Economic Reform," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 79-95.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
896, David K. Levine.
- Evelyne Huber & Dietrich Rueschemeyer & John D. Stephens, 1993. "The Impact of Economic Development on Democracy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 71-86, Summer.
- Jess Benhabib & Alejandro Corvalan & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011.
"Reestablishing the Income-Democracy Nexus,"
NBER Working Papers
16832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2006.
"Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521855266, November.
- Pranab Bardhan, 1993. "Symposium on Democracy and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 45-49, Summer.
- Heitor Almeida & Daniel Ferreira, 2002. "Democracy and the Variability of Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 225-257, November.
- Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, June.
- Li, Yuan, 2013. "Downward Accountability in Response to Collective Actions: The Political Economy of Public Goods Provision in China," Working Paper Series 2013-26, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vincenzo Bove).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.