Private Investment and the Institutionalization of Collective Action in Autocracies: Ruling Parties and Legislatures

37 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2010 Last revised: 24 Nov 2011

See all articles by Scott Gehlbach

Scott Gehlbach

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank

Date Written: November 23, 2011

Abstract

Despite the absence of formal institutions to constrain opportunistic behavior, some autocracies successfully attract private investment. Prior work explains such success by the relative size of the autocrat's winning coalition or the existence of legislatures. We advance on this understanding by focusing on the key constraint limiting coalition size and legislative efficacy: organizational arrangements that allow group members to act collectively against the ruler. We introduce three new quantitative measures of the ability of ruling party members to act collectively: ruling-party institutionalization, the regularity of leader entry, and the competitiveness of legislative elections. These characteristics are robustly associated with higher investment. Our evidence also points to an effect on the risk of expropriation in non-democracies.

Keywords: Investment, Dictatorship, Collective Action, Ruling Parties, Legislatures

JEL Classification: O17, P16, P51

Suggested Citation

Gehlbach, Scott and Keefer, Philip, Private Investment and the Institutionalization of Collective Action in Autocracies: Ruling Parties and Legislatures (November 23, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1663057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1663057

Scott Gehlbach (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-2391 (Phone)

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States
202-623-1961 (Phone)

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