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Authoritarian election as an incentive scheme

Hao Hong and Tsz-Ning Wong
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Hao Hong: Freddie Mac, Virginia, USA
Tsz-Ning Wong: Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel, Switzerland

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 2020, vol. 32, issue 3, 460-493

Abstract: Authoritarian rule requires teamwork of political elites. However, elite class members may lack incentive for the contribution of their efforts. In this paper, we develop a model to study the decision of authoritarian rulers to introduce elections. Our model suggests that elections can motivate the ruling class to devote more effort to public good provision. As a result, elections alleviate the moral-hazard-in-teams problem within the authoritarian government. Excessive electoral control hinders the introduction of elections, but mild electoral control facilitates it. Our findings offer a new perspective on understanding authoritarian elections and explain many stylized facts in authoritarian regimes.

Keywords: Authoritarian election; electoral control; moral hazard; incentive (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0951629820910563

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