Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1402933
 
 

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Do Juntas Lead to Personal Rule?


Daron Acemoglu


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Georgy Egorov


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Konstantin Sonin


Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

January 1, 2009

American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 99, No. 2, pp. 298-303, 2009

Abstract:     
Although almost half of the world's population lives under nondemocratic regimes, the questions of how policy decisions are made and how power changes hands in nondemocracies have received relatively little attention in the political economy literature. Gordon Tullock (1987) suggested that because there are no strong institutions ensuring consensus and regulating the election and succession of leaders, non-democratic regimes rapidly degenerate into personal rule, where a single dictator dominates every aspect of decision-making. In this paper, we draw on our work on dynamic coalition formation and investigate Tullock's conjecture formally. Our game-theoretic analysis leads to the opposite of Tullock's conjecture: provided that players are sufficiently forward-looking, juntas do not dynamically converge to personal rule. On the contrary, relatively large juntas may emerge and persist as ruling coalitions for a very simple and intuitive reason: the absence of strong institutions not only enables some junta members to eliminate others, but also implies that current members cannot make credible commitments and in particular cannot refrain from engaging in further rounds of elimination.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

Keywords: nondemocratic politics, coalition formation, political economy, self-enforcing coalitions, stability

JEL Classification: D71, D74, C71

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Date posted: May 14, 2009 ; Last revised: October 15, 2009

Suggested Citation

Acemoglu, Daron and Egorov, Georgy and Sonin, Konstantin, Do Juntas Lead to Personal Rule? (January 1, 2009). American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 99, No. 2, pp. 298-303, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1402933

Contact Information

Daron Acemoglu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )
50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-380b
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-1927 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Georgy Egorov
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
NBER ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Konstantin Sonin (Contact Author)
Higher School of Economics ( email )
20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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