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A Not-so-dismal ScienceA Broader View of Economies and Societies$
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Mancur Olson and Satu Kähköhnen

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294900

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294905.001.0001

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Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development

Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development

(p.119) 4 Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development
A Not-so-dismal Science

Mancur Olson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Part of a series of writings that began with the author's essay on ‘Autocracy, Democracy, and Prosperity’, published in 1991. It puts forth, in an intuitive and non‐technical way, a part of the theory that is set out with formal proofs and crucial additional results in McGuire and Olson's ‘Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule’. It analyses the kings or dictators who control autocratic governments—and the oligarchies or majorities or other ruling interests that control other types of government—in just the way that economists analyse the behaviour of firms, consumers, and workers. That is, it takes a broader approach to economics by applying the familiar assumption of rational self‐interest to the autocrats or other ruling interests that control a government, and then finds what types of policy will best serve the ruling interest.

Keywords:   autocracy, democracy, dictatorship, economic analysis, economic development, ruling interest, self‐interest

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