Why is There no Revolution in North Korea? The Political Economy of Revolutions Revisited
The paper critically assesses the Acemoglu-Robinson approach to revolutions, as it is focused on inequality of wealth or income rather than on collective-action problems. We show that income inequality is not a sufficient and not even a necessary condition for a revolution to occur. Rather, a necessary condition for a revolution is that any subpopulation can expect net benefits from it, for which inequality is not a precondition. As a result, a certain structure of commitment devices or their absence rather than inequality is crucial for explaining why revolutions sometimes occur and sometimes not.
credible commitments, dictatorship, political economy, redistribution