Citizenry Accountability in Autocracies. The Political Economy of Good Governance in China
Do the citizens have a role in constraining policies in autocratic governments? Usually the political and economic literature model autocracy as if the citizens have no role in constraining leader’s behavior, but actually autocratic government are afraid of possible citizens’ revolts. In this paper we focus on contemporary China to analyze how citizens might induce an autocratic government to adopt congruent policies. Although there is no party or electoral competition, the leader fears deposition by coup d’état of the selectorate and revolutionary threats from citizens. We build a three player political agency model to study the role of both these constraints and we show that the effectiveness of the selectorate and of revolutionary threats are crucial factors in determining the policy outcomes. In particular, we show that the citizens can effectively discipline the leader because of the revolution threat notwithstanding the selectorate size, but this may result in a failed state when the costs of revolting and the selectorate size are small. As the size of the selectorate and the costs of revolution vary dramatically across countries, our result explain why different types of autocracies arise. In particular our model and results provide a useful framework to interpret China policy in the last twenty years.
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.:
- Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
- Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008.
"Income and Democracy,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jess Benhabib & Alejandro Corvalen & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "Reestablishing the income-democracy nexus," Working Paper Series 2011-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Mario Gilli & Yuan Li, 2013. "A Model of Chinese Central Government: the Role of Reciprocal Accountability," Working Papers 230, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
- Heitor Almeida & Daniel Ferreira, 2002. "Democracy and the Variability of Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 225-257, November.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, November.
- Murrell, Peter, 1992. "Evolutionary and Radical Approaches to Economic Reform," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 79-95.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 6371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Besley, Timothy & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 48, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2007. "Democratization And Growth," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 07-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," Working Papers 00027, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
- Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 6987, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 13334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pranab Bardhan, 1993. "Symposium on Democracy and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 45-49, Summer.
- Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, January.
- McMillan, John & Naughton, Barry, 1992. "How to Reform a Planned Economy: Lessons from China," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 130-143, Spring.
- Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-1162, December.
- Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
- Evelyne Huber & Dietrich Rueschemeyer & John D. Stephens, 1993. "The Impact of Economic Development on Democracy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 71-86, Summer.
- Peter Murrell, 1991. "Can Neoclassical Economics Underpin the Reform of Centrally Planned Economies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 59-76, Fall. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:nepswp:2012_003. 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: (Vincenzo Bove)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.