January 25th, 2006

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oil economics&democracy

globalisation reduces the elites' fear of ppopulism, since it reduces the ability to tax them. Countries with a comparative advantage in labour-intensive goods and services find globalisation conducive to democratisation, while those dependent on unequally owned natural resources find the opposite[...] huge natural resource rents cement autocracies [...] Elites have much to lose from equal sharing of wealth, while the masses can impose few costs upon them. It is not the efforts of the people of Saudi Arabia who make their elites rich, but oil. Russia is in the same sad situation.

Martin Wolf in FT, reviewing "Economic Origins of Dictatorship & Democracy"

по-русски: глобализация в России будет расти потому что элитам это выгодно - возможен цикл по добыче активов в России и вывода прав на них на Запад. Демократия от этого будет исчезать - потому что при демократии этот цикл массы захотят прервать, но массы не имеют большого влияния в сырьевой экономике.

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