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The supply of democracy explaining voluntary democratic transition

  • Apolte, Thomas

The theory presented in this paper explains democratic transitions on the basis of rentmaximizing political leaders that aim at improving the credibility of post-constitutional policy making by way of introducing a decentralized democratic politico-institutional structure. They face an incentive for doing so if such a structure is a precondition for Schumpeterian growth processes, as this raises opportunities for trading a part of the political leader's power potential against future political rents stemming from an enhanced macroeconomic income base. While a differentiated and decentralized politico-institutional setting to unfold its desired economic effects requires the political leaders to effectively respect the independence of decentralized political agencies, announcements to do so may not be credible. Hence, the conditions under which credibility can be reached are analyzed. As far as political leaders have an incentive to formally introduce democratic institutions and, additionally, as far as they are able to credibly commit to the effective independence of decentralized governmental agencies, they can be expected to voluntarily supply democracy.

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Paper provided by University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW) in its series CIW Discussion Papers with number 6/2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ciwdps:62013
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  1. Thomas Apolte, . "Why is there no Revolution in North-Korea? The Political Economy of Revolution Revisited," Working Papers 200102, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  3. Jenny A. Minier, 2001. "Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 996-1009, April.
  4. Adam Przeworski, 2005. "Democracy as an equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 253-273, June.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  6. Badawi, Ibrahim El & Makdisi, Samir, 2007. "Explaining the democracy deficit in the Arab world," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 813-831, February.
  7. Raj M. Desai & Anders Olofsg�rd, 2006. "Constitutionalism and credibility in reforming economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(3), pages 479-504, 07.
  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  12. Sonia Mittal & Barry R. Weingast, 2013. "Self-Enforcing Constitutions: With an Application to Democratic Stability In America's First Century," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 278-302, April.
  13. 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.
  14. James D. Fearon, 2011. "Self-Enforcing Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1661-1708.
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