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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics: Vol. 2 No. 1 (January 2010)

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A Theory of Military Dictatorships

Article Citation

Acemoglu, Daron, Davide Ticchi, and Andrea Vindigni. 2010. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2(1): 1-42.

DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.1.1

Abstract

We investigate how nondemocratic regimes use the military and how this can lead to the emergence of military dictatorships. The elite may build a strong military and make the concessions necessary for the military to behave as their perfect agent, or they may risk the military turning against them. Once the transition to democracy takes place, a strong military poses a threat against the nascent democratic regime until it is reformed. We study the role of income inequality and natural resources in the emergence of military dictatorships and show how the national defense role of the military may facilitate democratic consolidation. (JEL D72, H56)

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Authors

Acemoglu, Daron (MIT and CIFAR)
Ticchi, Davide (U Urbino)
Vindigni, Andrea (Princeton U and IZA, Bonn)

JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
H56: National Security and War

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