Evaluating the Selectorate Theory

Start writing your answer after the instructions. Note you can use headers to organize your answer, and do not be afraid to edit other people's writing. This is a wiki! Also, you can use the Discussion page to hash out disagreements.

Does the selectorate theory of Bueno de Mesquita et al. account well for the observed patterns of economic growth and prosperity in the world? Does it account well for the patters of longevity among political leaders?

Instructions

  1. Summarize Bueno de Mesquita and his collaborators' views of the relationship between democracy, non-democracy, and economic growth. What is the selectorate? What is the winning coalition? What is the loyalty norm? How do these variables relate to democracy and dictatorship? How are they supposed to interact to produce different economic outcomes? How do they interact to produce different patterns of longevity among political leaders?
  2. Are observed patterns of economic performance or leader longevity well explained by this model? You might select a case that may not seem to be well-explained by their model, e.g., an authoritarian country (like China in the post-1976 period or Singapore) that has had consistently high economic growth over the years, or a democracy that has had low economic growth over the years. You need to provide some evidence showing that your country has indeed been non-democratic and high-growth (or vice-versa).
  3. Discuss what Bueno de Mesquita and his collaborator's measures would say about the country. What is the size of the selectorate and the winning coalition in your selected country? Are the selectorate and winning coalition different from what one would be led to expect merely by looking at the classification of the country as democratic or non-democratic? Would a country with a selectorate of that size be expected to have high and low growth, accoding to Bueno de Mesquita and his collaborators?
  4. Discuss whether the model makes sensible predictions for the country you selected, and if not, why or why not. Can the model be amended to account for your country? What factors does it ignore?
  5. You may also wish to look more systematically at the selectorate and the winning coalition in a larger sample of countries. Can we figure out the selectorate and the winning coalition in some particular set of countries? Why or why not?
  6. Is the theory useful? How much?

Resources

  1. Aside from the works of Bueno de Mesquita and his collaborators, you might find works on the comparative performance of dictatorships useful for this project.


Start writing here - do not delete the instructions. Note you can use headers to organize your answer, and do not be afraid to edit other people's writing. This is a wiki! Also, you can use the Discussion page to hash out disagreements.