The Political Economics of Non-Democracy

57 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2020

See all articles by Georgy Egorov

Georgy Egorov

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

We survey recent theoretical and empirical literature on political economy of non-democracies. Dictators face many challenges to their rule: internal, such as palace coups or breakdown of their support coalition, or external, such as mass protests or revolutions. We analyze strategic decisions made by dictators --- hiring political loyalists to positions that require competence, restricting media freedom at the cost of sacrificing bureaucratic efficiency, running a propaganda campaign, organizing electoral fraud, purging associates and opponents, and repressing citizens --- as driven by the desire to maximize the regime's chances of staying in power. We argue that the key to understanding the functioning and ultimately the fate of a nondemocratic regime is the information flows within the regime, and the institutions that govern these information flows.

Keywords: bureaucracy, Censorship, coup d'etat, Dictatorship, electoral fraud, media freedom, nondemocratic politics, Propaganda, repressions, Revolutions

JEL Classification: C73, D72, D74, D82, D83, P16

Suggested Citation

Egorov, Georgy and Sonin, Konstantin, The Political Economics of Non-Democracy (October 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15344, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3723533

Georgy Egorov (Contact Author)

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

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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