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Accountability in Autocracies: The Role of Revolution Threat

Yuan Li and Mario Gilli ()

No 2014-30, Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series from Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the joint work of two mechanisms that might constrain autocratic rulers: the threat of a coup by the political elite and of a revolution by the citizens. Our results will help explain a well-established and crucial fact, that is, that autocracies are far more likely than democracies to be either the best or the worst performers in terms of growth and of public goods policies. To this aim, we focus on accountability within dictatorships using a common agency model where the political elite and the citizens are the principals and the autocrat is the agent. Our results highlight that both excessively strong and excessively weak dictators lead to poor economic performances, while a balanced distribution of de facto political power is required to incentivize the ruler to choose congruent economic policies.

Keywords: autocracy; accountability; coup; revolt (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D74 H11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2014-02-17, Revised 2014-03-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

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