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Pampered Bureaucracy, Political Stability, and Trade Integration

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  • Caleb Stroup
  • Benjamin Zissimos

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of trade integration and comparative advantage on one of a country’s institutions, which in turn inuences its economic efficiency. The environment we explore is one in which a country’s lower classes may revolt and appropriate wealth owned by a ruling elite. The elite can avert revolution by incentivizing a potentially productive middle class to sink their human capital into a relatively unproductive bureaucracy. Thus the bureaucracy serves as an institution through which the elite can credibly commit to make transfers to the rest of society, but in the process this reduces economic efficiency. Trade integration alters the relative value of the elite’s wealth. This alters the lower classes’ incentive to revolt on the one hand and the elite’s incentive to subsidize participation in the inefficient bureaucracy on the other. Therefore, the interaction between a country’s comparative advantage and an inefficient economic institution determines whether trade integration increases or reduces economic efficiency. The econometric findings support the model’s main prediction.

Suggested Citation

  • Caleb Stroup & Benjamin Zissimos, 2017. "Pampered Bureaucracy, Political Stability, and Trade Integration," CESifo Working Paper Series 6371, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6371
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    Cited by:

    1. Xuepeng Liu & Emanuel Ornelas, 2014. "Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 29-70, April.
    2. Sujata Ghosh & Biswajit Mandal, 2019. "Bureaucratic efficiency, economic reform and informal sector," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 9(2), pages 121-137, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficiency; institutions; property rights; social unrest; trade integration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights

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