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Citizenry Accountability in Autocracies: The Political Economy of Good Governance in China

  • Gilli, Mario

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Li, Yuan

    ()

    (China Economic Research Center)

Do citizens have a role in constraining the policies of autocratic governments? Usually political and economic literature models autocracy as if citizens have no role in constraining a leader's behavior, when in fact autocratic governments are afraid of potential citizen revolts. In this paper we build a three player political agency model to study citizenry accountability in autocracies. We show that the citizens can effectively discipline the leader due to the threat of revolution notwithstanding the size of the selectorate, though this may result in a failed state when the costs of revolution and the size of the selectorate are small. Our model and results provide a useful framework for interpreting the political logic of the China's economic reform after the "Tiananmen incident".

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hacerc/papers/hacerc2012-023.pdf
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Paper provided by China Economic Research Center, Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2012-23.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 20 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hacerc:2012-023
Contact details of provider: Postal: China Economic Research Center, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-8-31 81 86
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/en/Research/Institutes/SCERI/

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738, August.
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  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  19. Pranab Bardhan, 1993. "Symposium on Democracy and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 45-49, Summer.
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