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Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development

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Listed:
  • Cervellati, Matteo
  • Fortunato, Piergiuseppe
  • Sunde, Uwe

Abstract

This article studies the endogenous evolution of economic and political institutions and the interdependencies with the process of economic development. Favourable economic institutions in the form of a state of law and absence of societal conflict arise in equilibrium. Democracies are neither necessary nor sufficient to implement a state of law, even if they may be instrumental. Efficient oligarchies can emerge and persist supported by the consensus of all groups. A taxonomy of politico-economic equilibria shows the endogenous evolution of institutions depending on economic inequality and natural resource abundance, implying a non-monotonic relationship between inequality and institutional quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20088, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20088
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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