Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration
AbstractIn order to explain the apparently paradoxical presence of acceptable governance in many non-democratic regimes, economists and political scientists have focused mostly on institutions acting as de facto checks and balances. In this paper, we propose that population plays a similar role in guaranteeing the quality of governance and redistribution. around the policy making center serves as an insurgency threat to a dictatorship, inducing it to yield to more redistribution and better governance. We bring this centered concept of population concentration to the data through the Centered Index of Spatial Concentration developed by Do & Campante (2008). The evidence supports our predictions: only in the sample of autocracies, population concentration around the capital city is positively associated with better governance and more redistribution (proxied by post-tax inequality), in OLS and IV regressions. Finally, we provide arguments to dismiss possible reverse causation as well as alternative, non-political economy explanations of such regularity, discuss the general applicability of our index and conclude with policy implications.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Singapore Management University, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 01-2009.
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- J19 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Other
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
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