Dictatorships, Patronage and Public Good Provision: Some Empirics

Karim Khan, Anwar Shah

Abstract


Dictatorship has been one of the most persistent regimes types
in history. Different dictators have applied different strategies for
maintaining political support across different societies. We discuss and
empirically estimate the hypothesis that states that dictators rely more
on patronage as compared to the general provision of public goods for
political support. Our results, based on the data from cross-section of
the countries from all continents, confirm this hypothesis. We use
military spending as an indicator of the patronage to military and the
secondary school enrolment as an indicator of the provision of public
goods. In the separate sets of regressions, we conclude that
dictatorship has a significant negative effect on the secondary school
enrolment rate and a significant positive effect on military expenditure
as percentage of GDP. These effects, in turn, might have caused the
persistent of dictatorships in many societies. In order to generalise
these findings, we also check robustness of the findings with respect to
other variables like infant mortality rate, average life expectancy,
Human Development Index (HDI), corruption, rule of law, ease of doing
business and competitiveness. The robustness analysis confirms our
findings. JEL Classification: P16, H11, H41, H42 Keywords: Dictatorship,
Patronage, Public Goods Provision, Military Spending, Secondary School
Enrolment Rate, Robustness Analysis

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v58i3pp.239-264

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