What Shall We Do with the Bad Dictator?
University of Oxford Department of Economics Discussion Paper No. 682
31 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 19, 2014
Recently, the international community has increased its commitment to prosecute malicious dictators by establishing the International Criminal Court, thereby raising its loss of being time-inconsistent (granting amnesties ex post). This deters dictators from committing atrocities. Simultaneously, however, such commitment selects dictators of a worse type. Moreover, when the dictator behaves so badly that the costs of keeping him in place are considered to be greater than those of being time-inconsistent, the international community will still grant amnesty. Consequently, increased commitment to ex post punishment may actually induce dictators to worsen their behaviour, purely to "unlock" the amnesty option and force the international community into time-inconsistency.
Keywords: Dictatorship, Time-consistency, International Criminal Court, Amnesty, Institutions
JEL Classification: F55, K14, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation