EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Rent extraction, revolutionary threat, and coups in non-democracies

Michael Dorsch () and Paul Maarek

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 4, 1082-1103

Abstract: This paper studies the political turnover process in autocracies due to coup d’états. We present a model in which autocratic rulers are politically constrained both by the elite and by the street. These political constraints are inter-related such that when leaders extract rent from the economy on behalf of the elite they increase the probability of facing a revolt in the street. We suppose that rulers differ in the efficiency with which they extract rents and citizens make inferences about the ruler’s type when idiosyncratic shocks occur. Equilibria are characterized in which elite-led coups serve to reset citizens’ beliefs about the leader’s type and pre-empt revolutions during periods of popular unrest. We then investigate the empirical implications using panel data on popular unrest and coups in sub-Saharan Africa. OLS and IV estimates support the causal mechanism highlighted in our theory. The magnitude of the effect is substantial – a one standard deviation increase in protest intensity increases the probability a coup occurs by a factor of almost three in our baseline IV specification.

Keywords: Political turnover; Coups; Non-democracies; Political agency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596718300489
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1082-1103

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Comparative Economics is currently edited by D. Berkowitz and G. Roland

More articles in Journal of Comparative Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-09-16
Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1082-1103