IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/10178.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Incumbency Advantage in Non-Democracies

Author

Listed:
  • Egorov, Georgy
  • Sonin, Konstantin

Abstract

In elections that take place in a less-than-perfect democracy, incumbency advantages are different from those in mature democracies. The incumbent can prevent credible challengers from running, organize vote fraud, or even physically eliminate the main opponents. At the same time, formally winning the election does not guarantee staying in power. We present a unified model of elections and mass protests, where the purpose of competitive elections is to reveal information about the relative popularity of the incumbent and the opposition. Citizens are heterogenous in their attitudes toward the dictator and these individual preferences serve as private signals about the aggregate distribution of preferences; this ensures a unique equilibrium for any information the incumbent may reveal. We show that the most competent/popular dictators run in competitive elections, mediocre ones prevent credible opponents from running or cancel elections, and the least competent ones use outright repressions. A strong opposition makes competitive elections more likely, but also increases the probability of repression. A totalitarian regime, where repression is cheaper, will have more repression, but even in the absence of repression, competitive elections will be rarer. A crueler, say military, regime, where protesting is costly, makes repression less likely and, surprisingly, competitive elections more likely.

Suggested Citation

  • Egorov, Georgy & Sonin, Konstantin, 2014. "Incumbency Advantage in Non-Democracies," CEPR Discussion Papers 10178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10178
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10178
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Boix, Carles & Svolik, Milan, 2009. "The Foundations of Limited Authoritarian Government: Institutions and Power-Sharing in Dictatorships," Papers 10-21-2009b, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:02:p:175-192_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2011. "Dictators And Their Viziers: Endogenizing The Loyalty–Competence Trade‐Off," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 903-930, October.
    4. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
    6. Vadim Cherepanov & Tim Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2013. "Revealed preferences and aspirations in warm glow theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 501-535, November.
    7. John Londregan & Andrea Vindigni, 2006. "Voting as a Credible Threat," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 18, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Alfred Marshall Lecture: Kleptocracy and Divide-and-Rule: A Model of Personal Rule," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 162-192, 04/05.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:02:p:153-168_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Gerard Padró I Miquel & Pierre Yared, 2012. "The Political Economy of Indirect Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 947-1015.
    11. Londregan, John & Vindigni, Andrea, 2006. "Voting as a Credible Threat," Papers 10-04-2006, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:03:p:849-872_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Scott Ashworth, 2005. "Reputational Dynamics and Political Careers," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 441-466, October.
    14. Lorentzen, Peter L., 2013. "Regularizing Rioting: Permitting Public Protest in an Authoritarian Regime," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 8(2), pages 127-158, February.
    15. Gehlbach, Scott & Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Investment without democracy: Ruling-party institutionalization and credible commitment in autocracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-139, June.
    16. James D. Fearon, 2011. "Self-Enforcing Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1661-1708.
    17. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:645-668_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2010. "Political Selection and Persistence of Bad Governments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1511-1575.
    19. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Anauati, María Victoria & Feld, Brian & Galiani, Sebastian & Torrens, Gustavo, 2016. "Collective action: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 36-55.
    2. Egorov, Georgy & Sonin, Konstantin, 2015. "The killing game: A theory of non-democratic succession," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 398-411.
    3. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:4:p:685-711 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dictatorship; elections; fraud; non-democratic politics; protests; revolutions; signaling;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10178. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.