Authoritarian Election as an Incentive Scheme

Hao Hong, Tsz-Ning Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Authoritarian rule requires teamwork of political elites. However, elite class members may lackincentive for the contribution of their efforts. In this paper, we develop a model to study the deci-sion of authoritarian rulers to introduce elections. Our model suggests that elections can moti-vate the ruling class to devote more effort to public good provision. As a result, elections alleviatethe moral-hazard-in-teams problem within the authoritarian government. Excessive electoral con-trol hinders the introduction of elections, but mild electoral control facilitates it. Our findingsoffer a new perspective on understanding authoritarian elections and explain many stylized factsin authoritarian regimes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-493
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Authoritarian election
  • Electoral control
  • Moral hazard
  • Incentive

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