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Limited Autocracy

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  • Klick Jonathan

    (Florida State University College of Law)

Abstract

All politicians, regardless of the nominal form of government within which they operate, face the trade-off between current period gains and tenure extension. That is, rulers can exploit their power for personal gain, but they risk being removed from their positions of power, either through a popular vote or a coup or revolution. If they temper their exploitation to remain in power, they sacrifice some of their current personal gain. Essentially all politicians are limited autocrats, where the limitations imposed on them differ according to the institutional structure under which they rule. This paper presents a formal model of this trade off in the Mancur Olson stationary bandit framework, where tenure length is explicitly endogenized in the politicians maximization problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Klick Jonathan, 2005. "Limited Autocracy," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 293-304, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:1:y:2005:i:2:n:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
    2. Herschel I. Grossman & Suk Jae Noh, 1990. "A Theory Of Kleptocracy With Probabilistic Survival And Reputation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 157-171, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hagemann, Harald & Kufenko, Vadim, 2014. "The political Kuznets curve for Russia: Income inequality, rent seeking regional elites and empirical determinants of protests during 2011/2012," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 39/2013, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
    2. Edgardo Barandiarán, 2003. "Protecting Property from Stationary Bandits," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(121), pages 626-632.

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