Oil and Autocratic Regime Survival

  title={Oil and Autocratic Regime Survival},
  author={Joseph Wright and Erica Frantz and Barbara Geddes},
  journal={British Journal of Political Science},
This article uncovers a new mechanism linking oil wealth to autocratic regime survival: the investigation tests whether increases in oil wealth improve the survival of autocracies by lowering the chances of democratization, reducing the risk of transition to subsequent dictatorship, or both. Using a new measure of autocratic durability shows that, once models allow for unit effects, oil wealth promotes autocratic survival by lowering the risk of ouster by rival autocratic groups. Evidence also… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Oil income and the personalization of autocratic politics
Abstract Personalist regimes are more reliant on natural resource rents than other models of autocracy, but the direction of causation is unclear. Resource wealth could finance patronage and allowExpand
Autocratic Survival Strategies: Does Oil Make a Difference?
Abstract This paper examines the behavior of dictators when faced by an imminent threat of being overthrown in oil abundant countries. In the short run, the dictator’s survival strategies is arguedExpand
Resources, Rent Diversification, and the Collapse of Autocratic Regimes
A growing literature demonstrates that “unearned income”—such as that which stems from natural resources—stabilizes authoritarian regimes. In this paper, we refine this argument to emphasize not justExpand
State hydrocarbon rents, authoritarian survival and the onset of democracy: Evidence from a new dataset
This article surveys the effects of state hydrocarbon rents—defined as government income from oil and natural gas—on authoritarian survival and the onset of democracy. We also examine the associationExpand
How oil income and missing hydrocarbon rents data influence autocratic survival: A response to Lucas and Richter (2016)
This paper re-examines the findings from a recently published study on hydrocarbon rents and autocratic survival by Lucas and Richter (LR hereafter). LR introduce a new data set on hydrocarbon rentsExpand
Resource wealth as rent leverage: Rethinking the oil–stability nexus
The study of the “resource curse” has become a major research agenda with multiple outcomes of interest—regime type, regime stability, civil conflict and economic growth to name a few. However, theExpand
Resource curse in autocracies
We use a parsimonious decision model to study the conditions under which natural resource abundance negatively affects economic development in autocratic regimes. We assume that the autocrat valuesExpand
Oil, Autocratic Survival, and the Gendered Resource Curse: When Inefficient Policy Is Politically Expedient
Economic development generally promotes women’s autonomy. Yet women in resource-rich autocracies fare more poorly than women in similarly wealthy industrial and postindustrial states. Some attributeExpand
Foreign direct investment and the risk of regime transition in autocracies
ABSTRACT Economic globalization and, in particular, foreign direct investment (FDI) have often been considered to be catalysts for economic reform and political liberalization. It is argued thatExpand
The Durability of Client Regimes
Conventional wisdom holds that great power patrons prop up client dictatorships. But this is generally assumed rather than systematically analyzed. This article provides the first comprehensiveExpand


Natural-Resource Wealth and the Survival of Autocracy
Does natural-resource wealth impede transitions to democracy? This article revisits this question with an event history design that differs from the approach used in other recent statistical tests ofExpand
Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World
The global oil market and its associated booms and busts have generated a large literature in political science. One contention in this literature is that political instability is a near-certain,Expand
Comment on Benjamin Smith (2004): 'Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World, 1960-1999'
In “Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World, 1960-1999“ Benjamin Smith examines the effects of oil wealth, as well as of sudden changes in oil prices, on regime failure, politicalExpand
The Big Oil Change
The claim that oil wealth tends to block democratic transitions has recently been challenged by Haber and Menaldo, who use historical data going back to 1800 and conclude there is no “resourceExpand
Oil, Nontax Revenue, and the Redistributional Foundations of Regime Stability
Abstract Nontax revenues make up a substantial amount of government revenue around the world, though scholars usually focus on individual sources of such revenue (for example, foreign aid andExpand
Revisiting the Resource Curse: Natural Disasters, the Price of Oil, and Democracy
Abstract Fluctuations in the price of oil and the contemporaneous political changes in oil-producing countries have raised an important question about the link between oil rents, politicalExpand
More Oil, Less Democracy: Evidence from Worldwide Crude Oil Discoveries
This article exploits variations in the timing and size of oil discoveries to identify the impact of oil wealth on democracy. I find that discovering 100 billion barrels of oil (approximately theExpand
Oil Price Shocks, Income, and Democracy
Abstract We examine the effect of oil price fluctuations on democratic institutions over the 1960–2007 period. We also exploit the very persistent response of income to oil price fluctuations toExpand
Oil and the duration of dictatorships
Theoretical models do not reach an unambiguous conclusion concerning the effects of natural resource endowment on the duration of dictatorial regimes. We assess empirically, for the first time, theExpand
Endogenous Oil Rents
Oil rents may at times fall like “manna from heaven” into the fiscal coffers of the state. Yet politicians also make decisions that can increase or decrease the extent to which oil rents accrue toExpand