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What shall we do with the bad dictator?

  • Tim Willems
  • Shaun Larcom
  • Mare Sarr

Recently, the international community has increased its commitment to prosecute malicious dictators - for example by establishing the International Criminal Court.� This has raised the international community's loss associated with being time-inconsistent (i.e.: granting amnesties ex post), the idea being that a reduced prospect of amnesty deters dictators from committing atrocities ex ante.� Simultaneously, however, this elects dictators of a worse type.� Moreover, when the costs of being time-inconsistent are lower than those associated with keeping the dictator in place, the international community will still grant amnesty - thereby making the effective punishment function non-monotonic.� Consequently, increased commitment to ex post punishment may actually induce dictators to worsen their behaviour, purely to "unlock" the amnesty option by forcing the international community into time-inconsistency.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 671.

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Date of creation: 12 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:671
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