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Journal of Economic Literature - Book Review

JEL Volume. 50, Issue 2 | leftPrevious Review Next Review right

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Book(s) Reviewed

The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith

Published By: New York: Perseus Books, Public Affairs
ISBN: 978-1-61039-044-6
Date of Publication: 2011


Book Review Detail

Reviewed by: Bruce Russett of Yale University
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.2.513.r3
Review Pages: 516-17

Book Review Abstract

Bruce Russett of Yale University reviews "The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics" by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. The EconLit abstract of the reviewed work begins: Explores the pattern of negative conduct displayed by the behavior of many government and business leaders and considers its relationship with continued power. Discusses the rules of politics; coming to power; staying in power; stealing from the poor and giving to the rich; getting and spending; if corruption powers, then absolute corruption empowers absolutely; foreign aid; the people in revolt; war, peace, and world order; and what is to be done. Bueno de Mesquita is Julius Silver Professor of Politics and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Smith is Professor of Politics at New York University. Index.


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Book Review Authors

Bruce Russett of Yale University


JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
D73: Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
F35: Foreign Aid
M10: Business Administration: General


Journal of Economic Literature


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