Dictators Under The Weather
Ben ZissimosUniversity of Exeter
03:30 PM to 05:00 PM (IST)
We show how and when dictatorships are able to use international trade policy to forestall democratization in the face of weather shocks. Our model shows when a domestic weather shock creates the threat of a revolution. Under a ‘mild’ weather shock, the dictatorship are able to defuse the threat of revolution by setting a ‘status quo policy’. Under a ‘severe’ weather shock, the dictatorship face a commitment problem: they must democratize in order to defuse the threat of revolution. Using a dataset of Sub-Saharan African countries, we find econometric results that are consistent with the predictions of our model.
(jointly with Kishore Gawande)