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Non-Linear Geographics and the Economics of Transition and Democratization


  • Elise S. Brezis

    () (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Thierry Verdier


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of geography on the transition process in authoritarian political regimes, and to investigate the nature of the links between political change, economic reforms and geographic location. A simple model of transition and democratization is presented wherein we show that the effectiveness of repression by the incumbent elite is a negative function of the distance to the “free world”. In consequence, there are conflicting effects of geography on political power shifting. The paper provides a rationale for the counterintuitive fact that the first authoritarian country to start a transition process towards democratization is not necessarily the one nearest to the free world.

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  • Elise S. Brezis & Thierry Verdier, 2012. "Non-Linear Geographics and the Economics of Transition and Democratization," Working Papers 2012-10, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Elise S. Brezis & Adi Schnytzer, 2003. "Wy are the transition paths in China and Eastern Europe different?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(1), pages 3-23, March.
    2. Olivier Blanchard & Kenneth Froot & Jeffrey Sachs, 1994. "The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2: Restructuring," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan94-3, January.
    3. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Kenneth A. Froot & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1994. "The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 1," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan94-2, January.
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    1. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:1:p:19108852 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    conflicts; democratization; elites; geography; repression; transition process.;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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