What shall we do with the bad dictator?
Shaun Larcom and
Mare Sarr ()
No 671, Economics Series Working Papers from University of Oxford, Department of Economics
Recently, the international community has increased its commitment to prosecute malicious dictators - for example by establishing the International Criminal Court. This has raised the international community's loss associated with being time-inconsistent (i.e.: granting amnesties ex post), the idea being that a reduced prospect of amnesty deters dictators from committing atrocities ex ante. Simultaneously, however, this elects dictators of a worse type. Moreover, when the costs of being time-inconsistent are lower than those associated with keeping the dictator in place, the international community will still grant amnesty - thereby making the effective punishment function non-monotonic. Consequently, increased commitment to ex post punishment may actually induce dictators to worsen their behaviour, purely to "unlock" the amnesty option by forcing the international community into time-inconsistency.
Keywords: dictatorship; time-inconsistency; International Criminal Court; amnesty; institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F55 K14 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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