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Who Needs Strong Leaders?

  • Mark Gradstein
  • Alberto E. Chong

This papers model suggests that a strong leader, sometimes with little legislative oversight, may nevertheless benefit from public support. The argument is that this support is induced as an attempt by the poor to counter the subversion of public protection of property rights by the rich, and to achieve this goal they are often willing to pay the price of the leaders diversion of tax revenues for private use. The paper then examines survey data on individual attitudes toward strong leadership and finds their pattern to be consistent with the models predictions; specifically, support for strong leadership is inversely related to individual income and to countrywide income inequality.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 6734.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6734
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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Kai A. Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1578, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jones, Benjamin & Olken, Benjamin, 2007. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6298, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2009. "Why Doesn't Capitalism Flow to Poor Countries?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(1 (Spring), pages 285-332.
  5. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2005. "The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 131-150, Winter.
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  8. Konstantin Sonin, 2002. "Why the Rich May Favor Poor Protection of Property Rights," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 544, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  9. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Treisman, 2005. "A Normal Country: Russia After Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 151-174, Winter.
  12. Besley, Timothy J. & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 6371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Injustice of Inequality," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1967, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Herschel I. Grossman, 1997. ""Make Us a King": Anarchy, Predation, and the State," NBER Working Papers 6289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," Working Papers 00027, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
  17. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
  18. Branko Milanovic, 1999. "Explaining the increase in inequality during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 299-341, July.
  19. Heitor Almeida & Daniel Ferreira, 2002. "Democracy and the Variability of Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 225-257, November.
  20. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
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