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Land and Power

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  • Baland, Jean-Marie
  • Robinson, James A

Abstract

We study the implications of electoral corruption for resource allocation, factor market equilibrium and inequality. We focus on the control of the voting of agricultural workers by landlords and show that if the employment relationship is subject to moral hazard then the resulting rents conceded by employers give them a comparative advantage in controlling the political activities of their workers. This generates an added incentive to own land and leads to inefficiently high land concentration. We test the predictions of the model by examining in detail the effects of the introduction of the secret ballot in Chile in 1958.

Suggested Citation

  • Baland, Jean-Marie & Robinson, James A, 2003. "Land and Power," CEPR Discussion Papers 3800, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3800
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, January.
    3. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
    5. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, July.
    6. Bardhan, Pranab & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Wealth inequality, wealth constraints and economic performance," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 541-603 Elsevier.
    7. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
    8. Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1992. "Labor-Service Tenancy Contracts in a Latin American Context," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1031-1042, September.
    9. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355.
    10. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1995. "Power, distortions, revolt and reform in agricultural land relations," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2659-2772 Elsevier.
    11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    12. Dilip Mookherjee, 1995. "Informational Rents and Property Rights in Land," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 55, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    13. Stephen A. Marglin, 1974. "What Do Bosses Do?," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 6(2), pages 60-112, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Conning, 2002. "Latifundia Economics," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 02/1, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    2. Jonathan H. Conning & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Land Reform and the Political Organization of Agriculture," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; inequality; land; productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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