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The Dictator Effect : How Long Years in Office Affects Economic Development in Africa and the Near East

Papaioannou, Kostadis LU and Luiten van Zanden, Jan (2012) In Discussion paper series
Abstract
This paper contributes to the growing literature on the links between political regimes and economic development by studying the effects of years in office on economic development. The hypothesis is that dictators who stay in office for a long time period will become increasingly corrupt, and that their poor governance will impact on economic growth (which is reduced), inflation (which increases) and the quality of institutions (which deteriorates). This may be related to the fact that their time horizon is shrinking: they develop (in the terminology developed by Olson) from ‘stationary bandits’ into ‘roving bandits’. Or they may get caught into a ‘disinformation trap’, caused by the ‘dictator dilemma’. We test these hypotheses and indeed... (More)
This paper contributes to the growing literature on the links between political regimes and economic development by studying the effects of years in office on economic development. The hypothesis is that dictators who stay in office for a long time period will become increasingly corrupt, and that their poor governance will impact on economic growth (which is reduced), inflation (which increases) and the quality of institutions (which deteriorates). This may be related to the fact that their time horizon is shrinking: they develop (in the terminology developed by Olson) from ‘stationary bandits’ into ‘roving bandits’. Or they may get caught into a ‘disinformation trap’, caused by the ‘dictator dilemma’. We test these hypotheses and indeed find strong evidence for the existence of a dictator effect: the length of the rule is negatively related to economic growth and the quality of democratic institutions, and positively related to inflation. This effect is particularly strong in young states and in ‘single-party’ regimes. The negative effect of years in office was almost constant in time and did not disappear after about 1992. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Africa, dictatorships, economic growth, political institutions, H7, O2, O55
in
Discussion paper series
issue
8962
pages
38 pages
publisher
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
ISSN
0265-8003
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
ef55bd7a-d4fa-404d-8ff7-71c27e30de6a
alternative location
http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8962
date added to LUP
2017-09-28 15:35:39
date last changed
2017-10-02 13:43:55
@misc{ef55bd7a-d4fa-404d-8ff7-71c27e30de6a,
  abstract     = {This paper contributes to the growing literature on the links between political regimes and economic development by studying the effects of years in office on economic development. The hypothesis is that dictators who stay in office for a long time period will become increasingly corrupt, and that their poor governance will impact on economic growth (which is reduced), inflation (which increases) and the quality of institutions (which deteriorates). This may be related to the fact that their time horizon is shrinking: they develop (in the terminology developed by Olson) from ‘stationary bandits’ into ‘roving bandits’. Or they may get caught into a ‘disinformation trap’, caused by the ‘dictator dilemma’. We test these hypotheses and indeed find strong evidence for the existence of a dictator effect: the length of the rule is negatively related to economic growth and the quality of democratic institutions, and positively related to inflation. This effect is particularly strong in young states and in ‘single-party’ regimes. The negative effect of years in office was almost constant in time and did not disappear after about 1992.},
  author       = {Papaioannou, Kostadis and Luiten van Zanden, Jan},
  issn         = {0265-8003},
  keyword      = {Africa,dictatorships,economic growth,political institutions,H7,O2,O55},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {8962},
  pages        = {38},
  publisher    = {Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)},
  series       = {Discussion paper series},
  title        = {The Dictator Effect : How Long Years in Office Affects Economic Development in Africa and the Near East},
  year         = {2012},
}