On Revolutions

A paper that I wrote with Alexander Salter entitled, “A Theory of Why the Ruthless Revolt” is now forthcoming in Economics & Politics. Here is the abstract:

We examine whether ruthless members of society are more likely to revolt against an existing government. The decision of whether to participate can be analyzed in the same way as the decision to exercise an option. We consider this decision when there are two groups in society: the ruthless and average citizens. We assume that the ruthless differ from the average citizens because they invest in fighting technology and therefore face a lower cost of participation. The participation decision then captures two important (and conflicting) incentives. The first is that, since participation is costly, there is value in waiting to participate. The second is that there is value in being the first-mover and capturing a greater share of the “spoils of war” if the revolution is successful. Our model generates the following implications. First, since participation is costly, there is some positive threshold for the net benefit. Second, if the ruthless do not have a significant cost advantage, then one cannot predict, a priori, that the ruthless lead the revolt. Third, when the ruthless have a significant cost advantage, they have a lower threshold and always enter the conflict first. Finally, existing regimes can delay revolution among one or both groups by increasing the cost of participation.

4 responses to “On Revolutions

  1. Regional verteilte sich das Informationsinteresse in der Reihenfolge für 2012 wie folgt:
    Bayern (17%), Nordrhein-Westfalen (7%), Baden-Württemberg (6%),
    Berlin (4%), Sachsen (4%), Schleswig-Holstein (3%), Hessen (3%),
    Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (3%), Tirol (3%) und Rheinland-Pfalz (3%).

  2. Interesting. Next, augment the model to have the government arming the ruthless and trying to ensure their loyalty?

    The chavistas have gone to great lengths to ensure that the hardest of their hardcore supporters are well armed and organized into effective irregular fighting forces. In fact, Venezuela may be the only country in the world with a government-funded and -organized urban guerrilla force, set up proactively precisely to destabilize the country should the government that created it lose power.


  3. David Chester

    Its about time that a formal and scientific way of understanding and explaining about macroeconomics was developed and used for the examination for different policy proposals. Today this is done largely by guess-work with some past experience being inapplicable to the current changing situations, yet being used because that is all that is available. We are heading for disaster and only now is there a hope for changing course. My research has led to the first truly logical and scientific explanation (with past errors and bias) of how our social system works. It includes a simple yet fully comprehensive model of our social system (macroeconomics theory) plus its use for analytic studies and some of what may be found from doing so. Please write to me at chesterdh@hotmail.com for an e-book about it. Kindly state your reason for wanting to see this academic work, which is offered here for free.

  4. David Chester

    I should have written “(without past errors and bias)”–sorry.

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