In an economy with weak economic and political institutions, the major institutional choices are made strategically by oligarchs and dictators. The conventional wisdom presumes that as rent-seeking is harmful for oligarchs themselves, institutions such as property rights will emerge spontaneously. We explicitly model a dynamic game between the oligarchs and a dictator who can contain rent-seeking. The oligarchs choose either a weak dictator (who can be overthrown by an individual oligarch) or a strong dictator (who can only be replaced via a consensus of oligarchs). In equilibrium, no dictator can commit to both: (i) protecting the oligarchs' property rights from the other oligarchs and (ii) not expropriating oligarchs himself. We show that a weak dictator does not limit rent-seeking. A strong dictator does reduce rent-seeking but also expropriates individual oligarchs. We show that even though eliminating rent-seeking is Pareto optimal, weak dictators do get appointed in equilibrium and rent-seeking continues. This outcome is especially likely when economic environment is highly volatile.
The article deals with three constitutional projects of Francisco de Miranda, distinguished Venezuelan. It is devoted to analyzes of the characteristics of the project of 1798, based on the experience of British constitutional law and public law of Ancient Rome. Special attention is focused on provisions of the projects of 1801 and 1808: on temporary public power during the war of colonies for independence from Spain and on federal government after the liberation. F.Miranda used for these projects a constitutional experience of many countries. One of the sources of his intellectual reflection was the constitution of Ancient Rome, the most important elements of which were people`s assembleis and magistracy. These institutes were adopted by F.Miranda and creatively impleamented according to specific conditions of Ibero-America.