9 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2006 Last revised: 1 Apr 2016
Date Written: November 1, 2006
We posit a rational choice model of dictatorship to explain the tendency of dictators to repress innocent citizens. This model demonstrates that, when the quality of information about regime enemies is low, a rational dictator will knowingly kill and imprison citizens who are not real enemies. We use the formerly secret Stalin archives to test this proposition against the stylized facts of Stalin’s three major repressions.
Keywords: Dictatorial systems, Stalinism, Soviet State and Party archives, NKVD, OPGU
JEL Classification: P00, N44, P26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Gregory, Paul R. and Schröder, Philipp J. H. and Sonin, Konstantin, Rational Dictators and the Killing of Innocents: Data from Stalin's Archives (November 1, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=948667 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.948667