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Income and Democracy
We revisit one of the central empirical findings of the political economy literature that higher income per capita causes democracy. Existing studies establish a strong cross-country correlationExpand
Income and Democracy?
Existing studies establish a strong cross-country correlation between income and democracy but do not control for factors that simultaneously affect both variables. We show that controlling for suchExpand
Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis
This paper revisits and critically re-evaluates the widely-accepted modernization hypothesis which claims that per capita income causes the creation and the consolidation of democracy. We argue thatExpand
The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959–1961
This article studies the causes of China's Great Famine, during which 16.5 to 45 million individuals perished in rural areas. We document that average rural food retention during the famine was tooExpand
Fiscal Rules and Discretion under Persistent Shocks
This paper studies the optimal level of discretion in policymaking. We consider a fiscal policy model where the government has time-inconsistent preferences with a present bias toward publicExpand
A Dynamic Theory of Resource Wars
We develop a dynamic theory of resource wars and study the conditions under which such wars can be prevented. The interaction between the scarcity of resources and the incentives for war in theExpand
Political Limits to Globalization
Despite the major advances in information technology that have shaped the recent wave of globalization, openness to trade is still a political choice, and trade policy can change with shifts inExpand
The Institutional Causes of China’s Great Famine
This paper presents new facts about China’s Great Famine and develops a theory of famine to explain them. First, in 1959, when the famine began, food production was almost three times more thanExpand
Optimal Time-Consistent Government Debt Maturity
This paper develops a model of optimal government debt maturity in which the government cannot issue state-contingent bonds and cannot commit to fiscal policy. If the government can perfectly commit,Expand
Future Rent-Seeking and Current Public Savings
The conventional wisdom is that politicians' rent-seeking motives increase public debt and deficits. This is because myopic politicians face political risk and prefer to extract political rents asExpand