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Some Lessons on the Efficiency of Democracy from a Study of Dictatorship

  • Ronald Wintrobe
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)

Abstract

In recent years there has been a great deal of new work on the efficiency of democracy. The most important contributions have probably been the literature on probabilistic voting,1 ‘the rational partisan model’ originated by Wittman (1983) and developed further by Alesina (1988) and others, and the ‘new institutional economics’, especially that applied to bureaucratic theory (Breton and Wintrobe, 1975 and 1982; Weingast and Moran, 1983) which has tended to displace the old literature on the inefficiency of bureaucracy. However, all these models, like the older median voter model or the Stigler-Peltzman-Olson-Becker interest group approach, have been developed without reference to nondemocratic regimes. It is odd that economists have spilled so much ink modelling monopoly in the private sector, where it is a relatively trivial problem, while hardly any effort has been exerted2 modelling monopoly in politics, where it is probably the most important problem in the social sciences.

Keywords

Political Economy Public Choice American Political Science Review Bidding Process Probabilistic Vote 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Wintrobe
    • 1
  1. 1.University Of Western OntarioUSA

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