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Dictatorship, Democratic Transitions, And Development

  • Mark Gradstein

    ()

    (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

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    In this paper, employing the political agency framework, we revisit the comparison between autocracy and democracy with respect to their effect on growth outcomes. We find that ability to replace an incumbent political leader through election is no guarantee in itself for the welfare superiority of the latter regime; in fact, the opposite consequence may result. Legislative constraints on expropriation are shown to have the potential to enhance the welfare advantage of election, whereas moral hazard reduces the ability of election to effectively screen incumbent political leaders and thereby reduces welfare. Endogenous initiation of democratic transitions will be done by autocratic rulers under the threat of removal from office. Implications of the latter result are discussed in the light of recent democratization episodes in Africa.

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    File URL: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/humsos/Econ/Working/1104.pdf
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    Paper provided by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1104.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:1104
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    Web page: http://www.bgu.ac.il/econ

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    1. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    2. Dani Rodrik & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 50-55, May.
    3. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745, 05.
    4. Peter T. Leeson, 2008. "Media Freedom, Political Knowledge, and Participation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 155-169, Spring.
    5. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," Working Papers 00027, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
    7. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20088, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
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