Varieties of authoritarianism matter: Elite fragmentation, natural resources and economic growth
A broad literature suggests that political regimes matter for the growth effect of natural resources. However, while several studies have concentrated on the difference between democracies and autocracies in this respect, an important topic overlooked so far is the differences between varieties of authoritarian regimes. This study uses the political variation across sub-national regions of the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin to understand how differences in the extent of elite fragmentation in autocracies affects the influence of resource abundance on economic growth in the short run. We find that polities with fragmented elites underperform those with consolidated elites and link this effect to higher costs of fights over rents due to higher political uncertainty.