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Endogenous elites: power structure and patron-client relationships

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  • Petros Sekeris

Abstract

In weak institutional settings, autocrats barter political and economic concessions for support to remain in power and extract rents. Instead of viewing the favors’ beneficiaries, i.e. the elites, as an exogenous entity, we allow the king to decide whom to coopt provided the subjects are heterogeneous in the potential support - their strength - they could bring to the regime. While the ruler can select the elites on the basis of their personal characteristics, an alternative strategy consists in introducing some uncertainty in the cooptation process. The latter strategy allows the king to reduce the clients’ cooptation price since in the event of a revolution the likelihood of being included in the future body of elites is lower. We show that weak rulers are more likely to coopt the society’s strongest individuals, while powerful rulers diversify the composition of their clientele. Moreover, when agents value more future discounted outcomes, the king is more likely to randomly coopt subjects. Weak institutions Autocracy Rent seeking Elites
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Suggested Citation

  • Petros Sekeris, 2011. "Endogenous elites: power structure and patron-client relationships," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 237-258, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:12:y:2011:i:3:p:237-258
    DOI: 10.1007/s10101-010-0093-8
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    1. Louis Corriveau, 2018. "The constitution of patron–client relations and patronage appointments: a study of open and limited access," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 268-280, September.
    2. Székely-Doby, András, 2016. "Járadékteremtés és az áldemokráciák [Rent creation and pseudo-democracies]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 501-523.
    3. Karl Jandoc & Ruben Juarez, 2017. "Self-enforcing coalitions with power accumulation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 46(2), pages 327-355, May.
    4. Luc Désiré Omgba & Désiré Avom & Dieudonné Mignamissi, 2021. "Cabinet size, power-sharing and ethnic exclusion in Africa," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 47-64, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Walid F. Nasrallah & Karim A. Cheaib, 2016. "An equilibrium model of how regulative and normative institutions influence micro-economic and organizational behavior," Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 383-411, December.
    7. Wu, Bao & Fang, Hanqing & Jacoby, Gady & Li, Geling & Wu, Zhenyu, 2022. "Environmental regulations and innovation for sustainability? Moderating effect of political connections," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    8. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2016. "Religious Seduction in Autocracy: A Theory Inspired by History," CEPR Discussion Papers 11258, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Kai A. Konrad & Vai-Lam Mui, 2015. "The Prince – or better no prince? The Strategic Value of Appointing a Successor," Monash Economics Working Papers 15-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    10. Platteau, Jean-Phillipe & Sekeris, Petros G., 2013. "Seduction of Religious Clerics and Violence in Autocratic Regimes - with special emphasis on Islam," NEPS Working Papers 3/2013, Network of European Peace Scientists.
    11. De Luca, Giacomo & Litina, Anastasia & Sekeris, Petros G., 2015. "Growth-friendly dictatorships," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 98-111.
    12. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2017. "Religious co-option in autocracy: A theory inspired by history," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 395-412.
    13. 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.

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