Selectorate’s information and dictator’s accountability
In this paper, we study the evolution of accountability in autocracies and the consequent progressive economic and political mismanagement in terms of information changes. It is often held to be true that better information means greater accountability. On the contrary, we show that in dictatorships, better information might imply worse choices by a dictator. The basic idea is that the reputation mechanism underlying accountability only works if there is enough noise surrounding the dictator’s possible type. As the selectorate’s information about the dictator’s actual type increases over time, the incentives for the dictator to behave correctly vanish.