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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Paradox of Power Reconsidered: A Theory of Political Regimes in Africa
Author:Azam, Jean-Paul
Year:2006
Periodical:Journal of African Economies
Volume:15
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:26-58
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political systems
economic inequality
political stability
conflict
power
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Military, Defense and Arms
Link:http://jae.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/1/26.full.pdf
Abstract:A typical pattern of wealth redistribution seems to prevail, in some African countries, between rich and poor ethno-regional groups. A contract-theoretic model is presented for shedding some light on this phenomenon. The government promises a transfer to its potential opponent in return for not engaging in a civil war. The latter may break out because of the imperfect credibility of the government's commitment. This increases the cost of the required transfer of wealth, and may make it unfeasible. The model determines whether a military regime or a redistributive State prevails in a peaceful equilibrium. This depends on two parameters: the relative fighting efficiency and the relative productivity of the two groups. The social cost of the different regimes is then compared, and their implications for aid policy are discussed. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]
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