Dictators Walking the Mogadishu Line: How Men Become Monsters and Monsters Become Men

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dc.contributor.author Larcom, Shaun
dc.contributor.author Sarr, Mare
dc.contributor.author Willems, Tim
dc.date.accessioned 2016-07-07T12:31:23Z
dc.date.available 2016-07-07T12:31:23Z
dc.date.issued 2016-07
dc.identifier.isbn 978-1-928281-29-0
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11090/817
dc.description.abstract History offers many examples of dictators who worsened their behaviour significantly over time (like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe) as well as dictators who displayed remarkable improvements (like Jerry Rawlings of Ghana). We show that such mutations can result from rational behaviour when the dictator’s flow use of repression is complementary to his accumulated stock of wrongdoings. Interacting this complementarity with uncertainty over the dictator’s degree of impunity in relation to wrongdoing (such that the dictator becomes inclined to experiment along this dimension), produces an environment in which any individual rising to power can end up as either a moderate leader, or as a dreaded tyrant. Our model shows that dictators are more likely to derail with higher levels of divertible funds available, for example stemming from fungible aid inflows or from the exploitation of natural resources. It furthermore suggests that derailment is accidental and that such leaders suffer from ex-post regret. Consequently, increasing accountability can be in the interest of both the public and the dictator. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Shaun Larcom: Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, 6-21 Silver Street, Cambridge CB39EP, United Kingdom. Tel.: +44 20 3073 8320. E-mail: stl25@cam.ac.uk. Corresponding author. Mare Sarr: School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa. Tel.: +27 21 650 2982. Email: mare.sarr@uct.ac.za. Tim Willems: Nuffi eld College, and Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UQ, United Kingdom. Also a member of the Centre for Macroeconomics. Tel.: +44 75 076 729 84. E-mail: tim.willems@economics.ox.ac.uk. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Saldru Working Paper;168
dc.subject Dictatorship en_US
dc.subject Repression en_US
dc.subject Political violence en_US
dc.subject Resource curse en_US
dc.subject Learning en_US
dc.subject Multiple steady states en_US
dc.title Dictators Walking the Mogadishu Line: How Men Become Monsters and Monsters Become Men en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US


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