IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/15344.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Political Economics of Non-democracy

Author

Listed:
  • Egorov, Georgy
  • Sonin, Konstantin

Abstract

We survey recent theoretical and empirical literature on political economy of non-democracies. Dictators face many challenges to their rule: internal, such as palace coups or breakdown of their support coalition, or external, such as mass protests or revolutions. We analyze strategic decisions made by dictators --- hiring political loyalists to positions that require competence, restricting media freedom at the cost of sacrificing bureaucratic efficiency, running a propaganda campaign, organizing electoral fraud, purging associates and opponents, and repressing citizens --- as driven by the desire to maximize the regime's chances of staying in power. We argue that the key to understanding the functioning and ultimately the fate of a nondemocratic regime is the information flows within the regime, and the institutions that govern these information flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Egorov, Georgy & Sonin, Konstantin, 2020. "The Political Economics of Non-democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 15344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15344
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15344
    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. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Adlai Newson & Francesco Trebbi, 2018. "Authoritarian elites," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1088-1117, November.
    4. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497.
    5. Monica Martinez‐Bravo & Priya Mukherjee & Andreas Stegmann, 2017. "The Non‐Democratic Roots of Elite Capture: Evidence From Soeharto Mayors in Indonesia," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85(6), pages 1991-2010, November.
    6. Balima, Hippolyte Weneyam, 2020. "Coups d’état and the cost of debt," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 509-528.
    7. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, September.
    8. Guriev, Sergei & Treisman, Daniel, 2020. "A theory of informational autocracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    9. Gabriel Leon, 2014. "Loyalty for sale? Military spending and coups d’etat," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 363-383, June.
    10. Dagaev, Dmitry & Lamberova, Natalia & Sobolev, Anton, 2019. "Stability of revolutionary governments in the face of mass protest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    11. Little, Andrew T., 2012. "Elections, Fraud, and Election Monitoring in the Shadow of Revolution," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 7(3), pages 249-283, June.
    12. Arturas Rozenas, 2020. "A Theory of Demographically Targeted Repression," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 64(7-8), pages 1254-1278, August.
    13. King, Gary & Pan, Jennifer & Roberts, Margaret E., 2013. "How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 326-343, May.
    14. Egorov, Georgy & Guriev, Sergei & Sonin, Konstantin, 2009. "Why Resource-poor Dictators Allow Freer Media: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 645-668, November.
    15. Treisman, Daniel, 2020. "Democracy by Mistake: How the Errors of Autocrats Trigger Transitions to Freer Government," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 792-810, August.
    16. Roger B. Myerson, 2015. "Moral Hazard in High Office and the Dynamics of Aristocracy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2083-2126, November.
    17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Willemien Kets & Alvaro Sandroni, 2020. "A Theory of Strategic Uncertainty and Cultural Diversity," Economics Series Working Papers 920, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Egorov, Georgy & Sonin, Konstantin, 2014. "Incumbency Advantage in Non-Democracies," CEPR Discussion Papers 10178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. González, F & Muñoz, P & Prem, M, 2019. "Lost in Transition? The Persistence of Dictatorship Mayors," Documentos de Trabajo 017431, Universidad del Rosario.
    4. Dorsch, Michael T. & Maarek, Paul, 2018. "Rent extraction, revolutionary threat, and coups in non-democracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1082-1103.
    5. Guriev, Sergei & Treisman, Daniel, 2020. "A theory of informational autocracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    6. Dagaev, Dmitry & Lamberova, Natalia & Sobolev, Anton, 2019. "Stability of revolutionary governments in the face of mass protest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    7. Aidt, T.S. & Eterovic, D.S., 2007. "Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0714, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9624.
    9. Li, Yuan & Gilli, Mario, 2014. "Accountability in Autocracies: The Role of Revolution Threat," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2014-30, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, revised 06 Mar 2014.
    10. Dietrich Fischer & Jurgen Brauer, 2003. "Twenty questions for peace economics: A research agenda," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 223-236.
    11. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    12. Fredriksson, Per G. & Neumayer, Eric & Damania, Richard & Gates, Scott, 2005. "Environmentalism, democracy, and pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 343-365, March.
    13. Aysan, Ahmet Faruk, 2005. "The Role of Efficiency of Redistributive Institutions on Redistribution: An Empirical Assessment," MPRA Paper 17773, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Petros Sekeris, 2011. "Endogenous elites: power structure and patron-client relationships," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 237-258, September.
    15. Thomas Apolte, "undated". "Why is there no Revolution in North-Korea? The Political Economy of Revolution Revisited," Working Papers 200102, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
    16. Björn Toelstede, 2020. "Social hierarchies in democracies and authoritarianism: The balance between power asymmetries and principal-agent chains," Rationality and Society, , vol. 32(3), pages 334-366, August.
    17. 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.
    18. Marques II, Israel, 2018. "Firms and social policy preferences under weak institutions : Evidence from Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2018, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    19. Besley, Timothy & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Mehdi Shadmehr & Dan Bernhardt, 2015. "State Censorship," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 280-307, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bureaucracy; Censorship; coup d'etat; Dictatorship; electoral fraud; media freedom; nondemocratic politics; Propaganda; repressions; Revolutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • 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
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

    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:15344. 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: https://www.cepr.org .

    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.