Government Revenue and The Common Agency of Repression: How Financial Principals Constrain the Leader’s Use of Repression


 How does a country’s sources of income and the actors that contribute to the government’s income impact the repression level within the country? In my dissertation, I examine the influence that the domestic public, domestic elites, and foreign donors have on the leader’s decision to repress. Specifically, I consider how the leader and the groups that contribute to the government’s revenue form a common agency. In this situation, the agent is the leader and must decide how much to repress. I define the principals as those that give the leader the financial ability to run the government. The degree to which each of these principals provides money to the government determines how much the leader considers their preferences. However, there will be some agency loss when the leader faces multiple principals. In this project, I examine how principals influence the leader and when agency loss occurs, for instance as the effective number of principals increases, and test implications of the theory in an empirical analysis. In addition, I plan to test how the implications drawn from the common agency framework apply to other types of rights, for instance womens’ rights and workers’ rights.



Other Selected Working Papers: 

Repressive Agent Defections: How Autocratic Power Grabs and Constraining Institutions Change Actor’s Incentives to Repress

Human Rights Organizations and The Onset and Termination of Repression

Human Rights Organizations, Mobilized Dissent, and Incentives to (Not) Repress

Access Points and Human Rights (with Sean Ehlrich and Jillienne Haglund)

Agents of Repression: Examining Subnational Repression in Mexico (with Jordan Holsinger)