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The Dual Policy in the Dual Economy - The Political Economy of Urban Bias in Dictatorial Regimes

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Abstract

One of the most common policy obstacles in the global effort against poverty is what is termed as “urban bias” where rural residents, who constitute majority of the poor in the world, face systematic bias against their economic interests by their own governments. This paper develops a simple political economy model of urban bias in dictatorial regimes. Equilibrium outcomes relating policy outcomes with economic structure, political power, and other behavioral and structural variables are analyzed. The model shows that anti-agricultural biases can emerge in primarily agrarian societies even if there is no bias in political power between urban and rural citizens. Evidence from recent World Bank country level panel data on biases against/for agriculture provides support for the model’s prediction.

Suggested Citation

  • Shifa, Abdulaziz, 2011. "The Dual Policy in the Dual Economy - The Political Economy of Urban Bias in Dictatorial Regimes," Research Papers in Economics 2011:22, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2011_0022
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    1. Schiff, Maurice*Valdes, Alberto, 1998. "Agriculture and the macroeconomy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1967, The World Bank.
    2. Anderson, Kym, 1995. "Lobbying Incentives and the Pattern of Protection in Rich and Poor Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 401-423, January.
    3. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
    4. Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Political Economy of Agricultural Distortions: The Literature to Date," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50308, World Bank.
    5. Bezemer, Dirk & Headey, Derek, 2008. "Agriculture, Development, and Urban Bias," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1342-1364, August.
    6. Krueger, Anne O & Schiff, Maurice & Valdes, Alberto, 1988. "Agricultural Incentives in Developing Countries: Measuring the Effect of Sectoral and Economywide Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(3), pages 255-271, September.
    7. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, William J. & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Methodology for Measuring Distortions to Agricultural Incentives," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48326, World Bank.
    8. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 48, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    9. Majumdar, Sumon & Mani, Anandi & Mukand, Sharun W., 2004. "Politics, information and the urban bias," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 137-165, October.
    10. Honma, Masayoshi & Hayami, Yujiro, 1986. "Structure of agricultural protection in industrial countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 115-129, February.
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    Keywords

    Urban bias; rural poverty; dictatorship;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

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