We thank the Editor, the referees, as well as Jean-Pascal Bénassy, Francois Bourguignon, Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa, Adam Przeworski and seminar participants at Strasbourg, Tel-Aviv University, and the PSE for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Non-linear geographics and the economics of transition and democratization1
Version of Record online: 26 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Economics of Transition © 2012 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Economics of Transition
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 53–71, January 2013
How to Cite
Brezis, E. S. and Verdier, T. (2013), Non-linear geographics and the economics of transition and democratization. Economics of Transition, 21: 53–71. doi: 10.1111/ecot.12003
- Issue online: 21 DEC 2012
- Version of Record online: 26 NOV 2012
- Received: January 15, 2012; Acceptance: May 25, 2012
- transition process
The purpose of this study is to analyse the effects of geography on the transition process in authoritarian political regimes, and to investigate the nature of the links between political change, economic reforms and geographical location. A simple model of transition and democratization is presented wherein we show that the effectiveness of repression by the incumbent elite is a negative function of the distance to the ‘free world’. In consequence, geography has conflicting effects on shifts in political power. This article provides a rationale for the counterintuitive fact that the first authoritarian country to start a transition process towards democratization is not necessarily the one nearest to the free world.