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Cooption and Repression in the Soviet Union

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  • Dmitriy Gershenson
  • Herschel I. Grossman

Abstract

The Soviet ruling elite, the nomenklatura, used both cooption and political repression to encourage loyalty to the communist regime. Loyalty was critical both in defusing internal opposition to the rule of the nomenklatura and in either deterring or defeating foreign enemies of the Soviet Union. The cost of coopting people into the Communist Party was a decrease in the standard of living of members of the nomenklatura, whereas the cost of political repression was the danger that members of the nomenklatura would themselves be victimized. We assume that the nomenklatura determined the extent of cooption and the intensity of political repression by equating perceived marginal benefits and marginal costs. We use this assumption to construct an account of the historical evolution of policies of cooption and political repression in the Soviet Union. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Dmitriy Gershenson & Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "Cooption and Repression in the Soviet Union," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 31-47, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:13:y:2001:i:1:p:31-47
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    Cited by:

    1. Lazarev, Valery, 2007. "Political labor market, government policy, and stability of a non-democratic regime," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 546-563, September.
    2. Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2011. "Dictators And Their Viziers: Endogenizing The Loyalty–Competence Trade‐Off," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 903-930, October.
    3. Jim Rose & Simon Hay, 2001. "Three Steps Towards More Effective Development Assistance," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/26, New Zealand Treasury.
    4. Valery Lazarev, 2004. "Political Rents, Promotion Incentives, and Support for a Non-Democratic Regime," Working Papers 882, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    5. Eugenia Belova & Valery Lazarev, 2007. "Why party and how much? The Soviet State and the party finance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 437-456, March.
    6. Petros Sekeris, 2011. "Endogenous elites: power structure and patron-client relationships," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 237-258, September.
    7. Kirill Chmel & Alexander Demin & Kirill Kazantcev, 2017. "Dictators’ Behavior Under Conditions of Economic Sanctions Cumulative Effect," HSE Working papers WP BRP 50/PS/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    8. Geishecker, Ingo & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2004. "Landing on all fours? Communist elites in post-Soviet Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 700-719, December.

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