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Dictatorship in a single export crop economy

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  • Lode Berlage

    ()

  • Bart Capéau

    ()

  • Philip Verwimp

    ()

Abstract

Is it a matter of pure altruism or short-sightedness when a dictator spends an increasing amount of his revenues for the population, while cutting on own consumption? In order to be able to consume, the dictator first has to stay in power. We present a formal model of a power maximizing dictator. His revenues depend on the exports of a single crop. With the export earnings the dictator buys loyalty from the producers of the export crop by setting the domestic producer price. Revenues resulting from the difference between the international and the domestic price of the crop are used to finance a repressive apparatus. We characterize the optimal trade-off between buying more loyalty and adapting the level of repression. The model is illustrated with a case study of Rwanda under president Habyarimana (1973-94).

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics in its series Public Economics Working Paper Series with number wpdcsec.

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Length: 34 pp.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpe:papers:wpdcsec

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Keywords: dictatorship; political economy; coffee; Rwanda.;

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  1. Ricky Lam & Leonard Wantchekon, 1999. "Dictatorships as a Political Dutch Disease," Working Papers 795, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Hardle, W., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Papers 9204, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  3. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, October.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Lam, R., 1999. "Dictatorship as a Political Dutch Disease," Papers 795, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. Verwimp, Philip, 2003. "The political economy of coffee, dictatorship, and genocide," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 161-181, June.
  8. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
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