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The Logic Of Authoritarian Bargains




Dictatorships do not survive by repression alone. Rather, dictatorial rule is often explained as an "authoritarian bargain" by which citizens relinquish political rights for economic security. The applicability of the authoritarian bargain to decision-making in non-democratic states, however, has not been thoroughly examined. We conceptualize this bargain as a simple game between a representative citizen and an autocrat who faces the threat of insurrection, and where economic transfers and political influence are simultaneously determined. Our model yields implications for empirical patterns that are expected to exist. Tests of a system of equations with panel data comprising 80 non-democratic states between 1975 and 1999 generally confirm the predictions of the authoritarian-bargain thesis, with some variation across different categories of dictatorship. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Raj M. Desai & Anders Olofsgård & Tarik M. Yousef, 2009. "The Logic Of Authoritarian Bargains," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 93-125, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:93-125

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:75:y:2017:i:c:p:989-1007 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Rougier, Eric, 2016. "“Fire in Cairo”: Authoritarian–Redistributive Social Contracts, Structural Change, and the Arab Spring," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 148-171.
    3. Ishac Diwan, 2012. "A Rational Framework for the Understanding of the Arab Revolutions," CID Working Papers 237, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    4. Grigoriadis, Theocharis, 2016. "Religious origins of democracy & dictatorship," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 785-809.
    5. Martin Gassebner & Michael J. Lamla & James Raymond Vreeland, 2013. "Extreme Bounds of Democracy," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 57(2), pages 171-197, April.
    6. repec:bla:etrans:v:25:y:2017:i:2:p:351-373 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:410-428 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28049 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Magda Kandil & Nazire Nergiz Dincer, 2008. "A comparative analysis of exchange rate fluctuations and economic activity: The cases of Egypt and Turkey," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 7(2), pages 136-159, October.
    10. Ibrahim Elbadawi & Samir Makdisi, 2013. "Understanding Democratic Transitions in The Arab World," Working Papers 765, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2013.
    11. Gehlbach, Scott & Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Investment without democracy: Ruling-party institutionalization and credible commitment in autocracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-139, June.
    12. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2017. "Religious co-option in autocracy: A theory inspired by history," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 395-412.
    13. Barbara Krug & Alexander Libman, 2015. "Commitment to local autonomy in non-democracies: Russia and China compared," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 221-245, June.
    14. Marcus Marktanner & Luc P. Noiset, 2013. "Food Price Crisis, Poverty, and Inequality," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(3), pages 303-320, September.
    15. Israel Marques & Eugenia Nazrullaeva & Andrei Yakovlev, 2011. "From Competition to Dominance: Political Determinations of Federal Transfers in Russian Federation," HSE Working papers WP BRP 12/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    16. Steffen Hertog, 2016. "Is There an Arab Variety of Capitalism?," Working Papers 1068, Economic Research Forum, revised 12 Jun 2016.
    17. Székely-Doby, András, 2016. "Járadékteremtés és az áldemokráciák
      [Rent creation and pseudo-democracies]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 501-523.
    18. Breyel, Corinna & Grigoriadis, Theocharis, 2016. "Foreign agents? Natural resources & the political economy of civil society," Discussion Papers 2016/18, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    19. Ishac Diwan, 2013. "Who are the Democrats? Leading Opinions in the Wake of Egypt’s 2011 Popular Uprisings," CID Working Papers 256, Center for International Development at Harvard University.

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