Autocratic, Democratic, and Optimal Government: A Sketch
W. A. Niskanen
In his paper Niskanen provides valuable analysis of the effects of the voting rule, the progressivity of the tax structure, and the length of the fiscal horizon in democratic governments and interesting insights of the effect of alternative regimes on policies, such as war and immigration, that affect the number of people subject to the regime. His article follows Mancur Olson’s work called “Autocracy, Democracy, and Prosperity”. This paper is focused on the set of historical conditions that led to the progression from anarchy to autocracy to democracy. The motivation to write this paper was to understand why some autocracies were broadly popular. Models of Government
The section entitled “Models of government” develops simple is HHhmodels of autocratic, democratic, and optimal governments, where each model includes two common functions relating economic conditions and tax revenues to the primary fiscal decisions relating economic conditions by each type of government. This provides a basis for comparing economic conditions resulting from each type of government. Each of the major types of government is defined by who controls...