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Choosing a Dictator: Bureaucracy and Welfare in Less Developed Polities


  • James E. Rauch


Recent work in the sociology of economic development has emphasized the establishment of a professional government bureaucracy in place of political appointees as an important component of the institutional environment in which private enterprise can flourish. I focus on the role that internal promotion can play in bringing to power individuals who highly value (relative to income) imposition of their preferences over collective goods on the public. Such individuals restrain the corruption of their subordinates as a byproduct of their efforts to implement their preferences using tax revenue. Within this hierarchical framework I investigate the effects of varying subordinate compensation levels and of recruiting them meritocratically.

Suggested Citation

  • James E. Rauch, 1995. "Choosing a Dictator: Bureaucracy and Welfare in Less Developed Polities," NBER Working Papers 5196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5196
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rauch, James E, 1995. "Bureaucracy, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Cities during the Progressive Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 968-979, September.
    2. Soskice, David & Bates, Robert H & Epstein, David, 1992. "Ambition and Constraint: The Stabilizing Role of Institutions," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 547-560, October.
    3. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 1997. "Why Don't Poor Countries Catch Up? A Cross-National Test of Institutional Explanation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 590-602, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption


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