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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6734
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  1. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
  2. Heitor Almeida & Daniel Ferreira, 2002. "Democracy and the Variability of Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 225-257, November.
  3. Kai A. Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1578, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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  7. Decio Coviello & Matteo Bobba, 2006. "Weak instruments and weak identification in estimating the effects of education on democracy," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6698, Inter-American Development Bank.
  8. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
    • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Why Doesn't Capitalism Flow to Poor Countries?," NBER Working Papers 13164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-83, May.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. 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.
  14. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  17. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 55-87, July.
  18. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Ponzetto, Giacomo A. M. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Scholarly Articles 27867132, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Herschel I. Grossman, 1997. ""Make Us a King": Anarchy, Predation, and the State," NBER Working Papers 6289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
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