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Politically-Connected Firms and the Military-Clientelist Complex in North Africa

Robert Kubinec

No mrfcu, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Although much of the theory of authoritarian regimes assumes that the distribution of patronage is necessary to secure a ruler's coalition, it is also true that at times rulers may still survive despite impoverishing influential elites. I argue that what can help dictators maintain elite cohesion is concentrating patronage within institutions capable of controlling access to a broad array of rents. I make this claim based on an original online survey of 2,496 firm managers and employees in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia in which I randomized the type of offers made by political parties to companies for support in a hypothetical election. I show that Egyptian businesses, who have suffered the most under the authoritarian regime, counter-intuitively are also the most supportive of the country's rulers compared to businesspeople in other Arab countries. The underlying mechanism that best explains these findings is the Egyptian military's dominance in the control of patronage relative to the greater institutional diversity found in other countries.

Date: 2018-09-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara and nep-pol
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DOI: 10.31219/

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