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Liberal democracy as the result of an "aborted" communist revolution

Léonard Wantchekon, Antoni Calvó-Armengol and Antonio Cabrales ()

UC3M Working papers. Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía

Abstract: We propose a model of the transition from a ”big man” authoritarian regime to either a liberal democracy or a communist regime. An underground organization votes on whether to summon a mass event. If it is summoned, the organization members decide whether to put effort into the event. Higher effort makes regime change more likely, but it is individually risky. This creates the possibility, in principle, of high and low effort equilibria. But we show, using weak dominance arguments, that only the high effort equilibrium is ”credible.” Thus, internal party democracy is shown to be an efficiency enhancing element for political transitions. We extend the model to show that other internal organization aspects are key for the existence and welfare properties of this equilibrium. Finally we also show when is the process likely to end up in either democracy (and its ”quality”) or a full communist regime.

Date: 2006-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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