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Dictatorship in a Single Export Crop Economy

  • Lode Berlage
  • Bart Capeau
  • Philip Verwimp

Is it a matter of pure altruism or shortsightedness when a dictator spends an increasing amount of his revenues for the population, while cutting on own consumption? In order to be able to consume, the dictator first has to stay in power. We present a formal model of a power maximizing dictator. His revenues depend on the exports of a single crop. With the export earnings the dictator buys loyalty from the producers of the export crop by setting the domestic producer price. Revenues resulting from the di®erence between the international and the domestic price of the crop are used to finance a repressive apparatus. We characterize the optimal trade-o® between buying more loyalty and adapting the level of repression. The model is illustrated with a case study of Rwanda under president Habyarimana (1973-94).

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0311.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0311
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  1. Härdle, W.K., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Discussion Paper 1992-6, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  4. repec:dgr:kubcen:19926 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521794497 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521583299 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Ricky Lam & Leonard Wantchekon, 1999. "Dictatorships as a Political Dutch Disease," Working Papers 795, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  9. Verwimp, Philip, 2003. "The political economy of coffee, dictatorship, and genocide," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 161-181, June.
  10. Lam, R., 1999. "Dictatorship as a Political Dutch Disease," Papers 795, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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