Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development

  title={Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development},
  author={Mancur Olson},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={567 - 576}
  • M. Olson
  • Published 1 September 1993
  • Economics
  • American Political Science Review
Under anarchy, uncoordinated competitive theft by “roving bandits” destroys the incentive to invest and produce, leaving little for either the population or the bandits. Both can be better off if a bandit sets himself up as a dictator—a “stationary bandit” who monopolizes and rationalizes theft in the form of taxes. A secure autocrat has an encompassing interest in his domain that leads him to provide a peaceful order and other public goods that increase productivity. Whenever an autocrat… 

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