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Investment and Expropriation under Oligarchy and Democracy in a Heckscher-Ohlin World

Author

Listed:
  • Facundo Albornoz
  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Daniel Heymann

Abstract

We study the incentives to expropriate foreign capital under democracy and obligarchy. We model a two-sector small open economy where foreign investment triggers Stolper-Samuelson effects through reducing exporting costs. We show how incentives to expropriate depend on the distributional effects of the investment and how these affect the interests of the group in power. How investment affects the incomes of the different groups in society depends on the sectors where these investments are undertaken and the structural features of the economy such as factor intensity. We characterize expropriation equilibria and show that if investment is undertaken in the sector that uses labor less intensively, democracies are generally more prone to expropriate. This result provides one possible rationalization for the wave of expropriation equilibria and show that if investment is undertaken in the sector that uses labor less intensively, democracies are generally more prone to expropriate. This result provides one possible rationalization for the wave of expropriations in Latin America under governments with a broad popular base during the 20th Century.

Suggested Citation

  • Facundo Albornoz & Sebastian Galiani & Daniel Heymann, 2008. "Investment and Expropriation under Oligarchy and Democracy in a Heckscher-Ohlin World," Discussion Papers 08-02, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:08-02
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/invest.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Foreign-Affiliate Activity And U.S. Skill Upgrading," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 362-376, May.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:03:p:567-576_10 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Galiani & Norman Schofield & Gustavo Torrens, 2014. "Factor Endowments, Democracy, and Trade Policy Divergence," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(1), pages 119-156, February.
    2. Anders Akerman & Anna Larsson & Alireza Naghavi, 2011. "Autocracies and Development in a Global Economy: A Tale of Two Elites," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 065, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    3. Aidt, Toke S. & Albornoz, Facundo, 2011. "Political regimes and foreign intervention," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 192-201, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expropriation; political regimes; democracy; oligarchy; foreign investments; Stolper-Samuelson;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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