A Rational Choice Explanation For Stalin'S "Great Terror"
There is no agreement about the reasons for Stalin's Great Terror of 1937-1939. This paper argues that the problem faced by Stalin was similar to the standard principal-agent problem: the country was run as one enormous firm with Stalin as the only residual claimant. The monetary incentive structure was inadequate and the threat of mass shirking by the agents was real. A simple model of a principal with two agents is developed to address the problem. Assuming that the agents can observe and can reveal each other's shirking, it is shown that, under some assumptions, an equilibrium exists with the following strategy profiles: unless someone's shirking is revealed, the principal is committed to randomly punishing one of the agents with positive probability; an individual agent never shirks and always reveals a co-worker's shirking. A case study of the period is used to check the plausibility of this hypothesis. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 19 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (07)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0954-1985|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:19:y:2007:i:2:p:259-287. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.