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Inefficient predation, information, and contagious institutional change

  • Dorsch, Michael
  • Maarek, Paul

This paper presents an agency theory of revolutionary political transitions from autocracy to democracy. We model authoritarian economic policy as the equilibrium outcome of a repeated game between an elite ruling class and a disenfranchised working class, in which workers have imperfect information about the elite's policy choice and the economy's productive capacity. We characterize the conditions under which, in equilibrium, (i) the elite will set inefficient economic institutions under the threat of revolution, (ii) information shocks can catalyze democratic revolutions that may be contagious among similar countries, and (iii) democracy can be consolidated following a political transition.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38759/1/MPRA_paper_38759.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38759.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38759
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Daron Acemoglu, 2008. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, 03.
  3. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738, August.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5603, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper Series rwp01-015, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2007. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," NBER Working Papers 13028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  8. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2010. "State Capacity, Conflict, and Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 1-34, 01.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "Institutions, Factor Prices, and Taxation: Virtues of Strong States?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 115-19, May.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2008. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," IZA Discussion Papers 3392, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 275-363.
  12. Chassang, Sylvain & Miquel, Gerard Padró i, 2009. "Economic Shocks and Civil War," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 211-228, October.
  13. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  14. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  15. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
  16. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
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