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Inefficient Predation, Information, and Contagious Institutional Change

  • Paul Maarek

    ()

    (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise)

  • Michael Dorsch

    ()

    (The American University of Paris)

This paper presents an agency theory of revolutionary political transitions from autocracy to democracy. We model authoritarian economic policy as the equilibrium outcome of a repeated game between an elite ruling class and a disenfranchised working class, in which workers have imperfect information about the elite's policy choice and the economy's productive capacity. We characterize the conditions under which, in equilibrium, (i) the elite will set inefficient economic institutions under the threat of revolution, (ii) information shocks can catalyze democratic revolutions that may be contagious among similar countries, and (iii) democracy can be consolidated following a political transition.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2012-32.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2012-32
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  1. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2010. "State Capacity, Conflict, and Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 1-34, 01.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2008. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 74, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Daron Acemoglu, 2008. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, 03.
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  5. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
  6. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, June.
  7. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio LopezdeSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," NBER Working Papers 7892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
  10. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," NBER Working Papers 12108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  13. Christopher J. Ellis & John Fender, 2011. "Information Cascades and Revolutionary Regime Transitions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 763-792, 06.
  14. Chassang, Sylvain & Miquel, Gerard Padró i, 2009. "Economic Shocks and Civil War," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 211-228, October.
  15. Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "Institutions, Factor Prices, and Taxation: Virtues of Strong States?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 115-19, May.
  16. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 14520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  18. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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