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A Lipsetian theory of voluntary power handover

Raouf Boucekkine (), Paolo Giovanni Piacquadio and Fabien Prieur ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 168, issue C, 269-291

Abstract: We consider an autocracy where the ruling elite control both the resource wealth and education policies. Education prompts economic growth and enriches the budget of the elite. However, education also increases the “awareness of citizens” – capturing their reluctance to accept a dictatorship and their labor market aspirations – and forces the elite to expand redistribution or handover the power. A power handover leads to a more democratic regime, where the elite retains (at least partially) its economic power. This trade-off is the backbone of our Lipsetian theory of voluntary power handover. This theory provides new insights on the positive relationship between economic development, education, and democratization, and on the negative relationship between inequality and democratization. Finally, we revisit the resources-curse hypothesis within our setting.

Keywords: Institutional change; Human capital; Lipset’s theory; Resource curse (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 I25 O11 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:168:y:2019:i:c:p:269-291

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.10.010

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