Dictadura, democracia y desarrollo

Translated title of the contribution: Dictatorship, democracy and development

Mancur Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review


Under anarchy, uncoordinated competitive theft by "roving bandits" destroys the incentive to invest and produce, leaving little to be gamed by either the population or the bandits. Both would be better off if a bandit sets himself up as a dictator -a "stationary bandit" who monopolizes and rationalizes that 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 expects a brief tenure, it pays him to confiscate those assets whose tax yield over his tenure is less than their total value. The incentive plus the inherent uncertainty of succession in dictatorships imply that autocracies rarely perform well economically for more than a generation. The conditions necessary for a lasting democracy are the same that are needed for the security of property and contract rights that generates economic growth.
Translated title of the contributionDictatorship, democracy and development
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Issue number35
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • Democracia
  • Desarrollo económico
  • Desarrollo social
  • Dictadura


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