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Capital and growth with oligarchic property rights

Author

Listed:
  • Serguey Braguinsky

    (SUNY Buffalo)

  • Roger Myerson

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

To analyze effects of imperfect property rights on economic growth, we consider economies where some fraction of capital can be owned only by local oligarchs, whose status is subject to political risk. Political risk decreases local capital and wages. Risk-averse oligarchs acquire safe foreign assets for insurance, thus increasing wages in other countries that protect outside investors. We show that for empirically reasonable parameter values, reforms to decrease political risk or to protect more outsiders' investments can decrease local oligarchs' welfare by increasing wages, making such reforms prone to political resistance from the ruling elite. We suggest measures of property rights imperfections derived from empirically observable data, and we test the quantitative predictions of our model using those measures and other parameter values routinely assumed in growth theory. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Serguey Braguinsky & Roger Myerson, 2007. "Capital and growth with oligarchic property rights," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 676-704, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-195
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2007.02.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
    2. Sonin, Konstantin, 2003. "Why the rich may favor poor protection of property rights," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 715-731, December.
    3. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    4. Serguey Braguinsky & Roger Myerson, 2007. "A macroeconomic model of Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(1), pages 77-107, March.
    5. Daron Acemoglu, 2006. "Modeling Inefficient Institutions," NBER Working Papers 11940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andes, 1992. "The Tragedy of the Commons and Economic Growth: Why Does Capital Flow from Poor to Rich Countries?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1208-1231, December.
    7. Leonid Polishchuk & Alexei Savvateev, 2004. "Spontaneous (non)emergence of property rights," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 103-127, March.
    8. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "The Form of Property Rights: Oligarchic vs. Democratic Societies," NBER Working Papers 10037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
    10. Glaeser, Edward & Scheinkman, Jose & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The injustice of inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 199-222, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Manuel Oechslin, 2009. "Creditor protection and the dynamics of the distribution in oligarchic societies," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 313-344, December.
    2. Shumilov, Andrei, 2008. "Performance of business groups : evidence from port-crisis Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 24/2008, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    3. Serguey Braguinsky, 2009. "Postcommunist Oligarchs in Russia: Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 307-349, May.
    4. Jayasri Dutta & Colin Rowat, 2004. "The Road to Extinction: Commons with Capital Markets," GE, Growth, Math methods 0412001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2010. "Property Rights and Economic Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Braguinsky, Serguey & Mityakov, Sergey, 2015. "Foreign corporations and the culture of transparency: Evidence from Russian administrative data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 139-164.
    7. Soumyajit Mazumder, 2016. "Can I stay a BIT longer? The effect of bilateral investment treaties on political survival," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 477-521, December.
    8. Djumashev, Ratbek & Abdullaev, Bekzod, 2017. "Crime, Transition, and Growth," MPRA Paper 80842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Serguey Braguinsky & Roger Myerson, 2007. "A macroeconomic model of Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(1), pages 77-107, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Jayadev, Arjun & Bowles, Samuel, 2006. "Guard labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 328-348, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Oligarchs; Political risk; Growth; Capital; Imperfect property rights;

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights

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