A Lipsetian Theory of Democratization: Development, Education, Inequality, and Resources
36 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2017
Date Written: December 2016
The paper reexamines Lipset’s theory of democratization, by distinguishing the role of (economic) development from that of education, inequality, and (natural) resources. We highlight two contrasting effects of education and human capital accumulation. On the one side, education prompts economic growth and enriches the budget of the autocratic elite. On the other side, education increases the “awareness” of citizens - capturing their reluctance to accept a dictatorship and their labor-market aspirations - and forces the elite to expand redistribution. Along the lines of this trade-off, our theory provides a Lipsetian explanation of the positive relationship between economic development, education, and democratization, and of the negative relationship between inequality and democratization. Furthermore, we obtain new insights on the resources-curse hypothesis and on the design of effective aid to education.
Keywords: democratization, human capital, Lipset’s theory, resource curse
JEL Classification: D720, I250, O110, O430
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation