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A Theory of Civil Conflict and Democracy in Rentier States

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  • Silje Aslaksen
  • Ragnar Torvik

Abstract

The effects of resource rents on the political equilibrium have been studied in two main types of models. The first tradition uses models of conflict, and studies how resource rents affect the intensity and duration of civil conflict. The second tradition uses political economy models, where resource rents affect the political equilibrium due to changes in the costs and benefits of buying votes. Although they provide considerable insight, these traditions have little to say about when democracy emerges, and about when conflict emerges. In this paper, by integrating the earlier model traditions, we suggest the simplest possible framework we can think of to study the choice between conflict and democracy. We show how factors such as resource rents, the extent of electoral competition, and productivity affect economic and political equilibria. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2006 .

Suggested Citation

  • Silje Aslaksen & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "A Theory of Civil Conflict and Democracy in Rentier States," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 571-585, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:108:y:2006:i:4:p:571-585
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2010. "Property Rights and Economic Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Escobar, Octavio R. & Le Chaffotec, Alexandra, 2015. "The influence of OPEC membership on economic development: A transaction cost comparative approach," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, pages 304-318.
    3. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2008:i:2:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sekeris Petros, 2011. "Land Inequality and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-18.
    5. Humphries, Jane & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2015. "The Wages of Women in England, 1260–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(02), pages 405-447, June.
    6. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 366-420.
    7. Cervellati Matteo & Fortunato Piergiuseppe & Sunde Uwe, 2012. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-51.
    8. Frode Martin Nordvik, 2014. "Does Oil Promote or Prevent Coups?," Working Papers No 7/2014, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    9. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Alireza Naghavi, 2010. "Rent seekers in rentier states: When greed brings peace," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 039, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    10. Horatiu Rus, 2014. "Corruption, conflict and the management of natural resources," Economics of Governance, Springer, pages 355-386.
    11. Tim Willems & Shaun Larcom & Mare Sarr, 2014. "Dictators Walking the Mogadishu Line: How Men Become Monsters and Monsters Become Men," Economics Series Working Papers 701, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Raul Caruso & Jacopo Costa & Roberto Ricciuti, 2011. "The probability of military rule in Africa, 1970-2007," Working Papers 2011/26, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    13. Diana Patricia Niño Muñoz, 2015. "Calidad de vida y el desarrollo institucional de los municipios petroleros de Colombia (2000-2010)," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 17(33), pages 203-230, July-Dece.
    14. repec:elg:eechap:15325_14 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Horatiu Rus, 2014. "Corruption, conflict and the management of natural resources," Economics of Governance, Springer, pages 355-386.
    16. Timothy J. Besley & Torsten Persson, 2008. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Frode Martin Nordvik & Andrea Tesei, 2017. "Oil and Civil Conflict: On and Off (Shore)," Working Papers 810, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    18. Nasrollahi Shahri, Nima, 2010. "Natural resource wealth “a truly double edged sword?”: a comparative study between Iran and Norway," MPRA Paper 25639, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Dibeh, Ghassan, 2008. "Resources and the Political Economy of State Fragility in Conflict States: Iraq and Somalia," WIDER Working Paper Series 035, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2006. "Challenges and Opportunities for Resource Rich Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 5688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    22. Gvozdeva, Margarita & Kazakova, M.V. & Kiblitskaya, T.R. & Lyubimov, I.L. & Nesterova, K.V., 2016. "Various Aspects of Natural Resource Wealth Effect on Economic Growth," Working Papers 2045, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    23. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Naghavi, Alireza, 2011. "Rent seeking and regime stability in rentier states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 740-748.
    24. Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Comparing the influence of conflict on the perceptions of rich and poor: testing the hypothesis of Acemoglu and Robinson," ISER Discussion Paper 0911, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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