Internal and external political competition
All rulers face political competition, both from rivals within their state, and from other states to which their subjects may exit. In a simple model, both kinds of competition are substitutes. Internal competition (democracy) bene?ts citizens by allowing them to replace rent-seeking rulers. But it also weakens these rulers' incentives to invest. External competition forces rent-seeking rulers to invest so as to prevent migration. As a result, citizens are less willing to ?ght for democracy, and rulers are less eager to oppose it, when external competition is high. In a panel of countries, there are fewer changes towards democracy when states have low GDP relative to their neighbours.
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