IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Autocratic rule in ethnically-diverse societies

  • Amegashie, J. Atsu
Registered author(s):

    Richer and more educated citizens demand better governance than poorer citizens. They participate more in the political process, are more difficult to buy off, and tend to have the financial resources to support a revolt. An autocrat who is politically insecure may therefore not invest in income-enhancing goods like education, roads, the rule of law, etc. This argument is not new. The novelty of this paper is to argue that ethnic diversity and discrimination exacerbate an autocrat’s fear of the negative effect of high income or income-enhancing investments like public education on his political survival. The combination of ethnic diversity and the fear of survival results in low economic performance in ethnically-diverse autocracies. I show that under such circumstances, the proportion of national income that the autocrat appropriates to himself is increasing in the degree of ethnic diversity. An implication is that in such ethnically-diverse societies, kleptocrats may be better off with a bigger share of a smaller national income than they are with a smaller share of a bigger national income. Previous empirical work provides some support for my theory. I discuss applications and limitations of my results.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8933/1/MPRA_paper_8933.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8933.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 02 Jun 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8933
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
    Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
    4. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Kleptocracy and Divide-and-Rule: A Model of Personal Rule," NBER Working Papers 10136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-93, March.
    7. Robinson, James A & Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "White Elephants," CEPR Discussion Papers 3459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Gerard Padró i Miquel, 2007. "The Control of Politicians in Divided Societies: The Politics of Fear," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1259-1274.
    9. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
    11. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:3451297 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ling Shen, 2005. "When will a dictator be good?," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse22_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    15. James A. Robinson, 1999. "When is a State Predatory?," CESifo Working Paper Series 178, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
    17. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    18. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
    19. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299, November.
    20. Bluedorn, John C., 2001. "Can democracy help? Growth and ethnic divisions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 121-126, January.
    21. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    22. repec:hrv:faseco:4551796 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:hrv:faseco:4553005 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Paul Collier, 2001. "Implications of ethnic diversity," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 127-166, 04.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8933. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.