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The Political Economics of Non-democracy

Author

Listed:
  • Georgy Egorov

    () (Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management)

  • Konstantin Sonin

    () (University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy)

Abstract

We survey recent theoretical and empirical literature on political economy of non-democracies. Dictators face many challenges to their rule: internal, such as palace coups or breakdown of their support coalition, or external, such as mass protests or revolutions. We analyze strategic decisions made by dictators — hiring political loyalists to positions that require competence, restricting media freedom at the cost of sacrificing bureaucratic efficiency, running a propaganda campaign, organizing electoral fraud, purging associates and opponents, and repressing citizens — as driven by the desire to maximize the regime’s chances of staying in power. We argue that the key to understanding the functioning and ultimately the fate of a nondemocratic regime is the information flows within the regime, and the institutions that govern these information flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2020. "The Political Economics of Non-democracy," Working Papers 2020-142, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2020-142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nondemocratic politics; authoritarianism; dictatorship; bureaucracy; electoral fraud; protests; revolutions; coup d’etat; media freedom; propaganda; censorship; repressions; institutionalized ruling party;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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