The State Independent from Voters: Rent Revenue Incomes and the Resource Curse
31 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 3, 2014
If the authorities have the opportunity to receive incomes uncontrolled by society, this gives them great freedom of action. Such incomes do not depend on the quality of the public goods delivered, nor on the investment climate. Given a certain minimal level of organization, taxpayers can try to impose on the government, which needs their money, their own terms for using the resources received (and history has shown that this can often be done successfully). The history of many modern parliaments began with gatherings convened by the people whose money and armed forces made up the might of the state.
The absence of a need for the regime in power to ask its subjects for financial support in return for guarantees and privileges makes the regime’s forces, which are far superior in comparison with any individual market agent’s capacity, practically uncompensated for in any way. And if the government’s incomes enable it to offer bribes to citizens, then the authorities’ uncontrollability can weaken or even destroy the democratic institutions already in existence. Under such conditions, there can be no talk of constraints capable of providing universal secure guarantees for business independently of the will of the ruler.
Keywords: Rent revenue, voters' corruption, voters bribe, demand for institutions
JEL Classification: D72, D73, P16, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation