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Political repression in autocratic regimes

Author

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  • Bove, Vincenzo
  • Platteau, Jean-Philippe
  • Sekeris, Petros G.

Abstract

Theoretical models on autocracies have long grappled with how to characterize and analyze state sponsorship of repression. Moreover, much of the existing formal literature sees dictators’ behavior as determined by one type of opposition actor alone and disregards the potential role played by other types of actors. We develop a contest model of political survival with a ruler, the elite and the opposition, and show how the ruler needs to respond to revolutionary pressures while securing the allegiance of his own supportive coalition. We find that the ruler’s reliance on vertical and horizontal repression is antithetically affected by the country’s wealth and the optimal bundle of vertical and horizontal repression has important consequences for the regime’s political vulnerability. Our hypothesis about the impact of wealth on repression is strongly borne out by the empirical results, which are robust to endogeneity concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Bove, Vincenzo & Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Sekeris, Petros G., 2017. "Political repression in autocratic regimes," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 410-428.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:410-428
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2016.11.004
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    Cited by:

    1. De Luca, Giacomo & Sekeris, Petros G. & Vargas, Juan F., 2018. "Beyond divide and rule: Weak dictators, natural resources and civil conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 205-221.
    2. Emmanuelle Auriol & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2017. "The explosive combination of religious decentralization and autocracy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 25(2), pages 313-350, April.
    3. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2017. "The Explosive Combination of Religious Decentralisation and Autocracy: the Case of Islam," TSE Working Papers 17-759, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Dorsch, Michael T. & Maarek, Paul, 2018. "Rent extraction, revolutionary threat, and coups in non-democracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1082-1103.
    5. Kirill Chmel & Alexander Demin & Kirill Kazantcev, 2017. "Dictators’ Behavior Under Conditions of Economic Sanctions Cumulative Effect," HSE Working papers WP BRP 50/PS/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    6. Roberti, Paolo, 2019. "State capacity and repression: A model of colonial rule," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 247-264.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Authoritarian regimes; Repression; Natural resources;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts

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