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The Politics of Co-optation

  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Spagat, Michael

Group 1 holds political power. Group 2 threatens this power. Group 1 decreases the upheaval probability by co-opting some agents from Group 2 into a more benign Group 3. Improvements in upheaval technology lead to less co-optation. Increasing the relative size of Group 1 implies larger co-optation payments to a smaller group, decreasing the total resources committed to co-optation. In an extension in which Group 3 also threatens Group 1, although less destructively than does Group 2, co-optation transfers are reduced. Growth causes political stabilization. The theory applies to the origin of the welfare state, post-communist privatization and other situations.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 591-607

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:29:y:2001:i:4:p:591-607
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  6. Roemer, John E, 1985. "Rationalizing Revolutionary Ideology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 85-108, January.
  7. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
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