Are autocratic successors less fierce?

Hypothesis A: Successors to tyrants will be less fierce, because tyrants themselves fear fierce wanna-bee underlings. 

Hypothesis B: Hereditary monarchy does not breed for love of power, therefore successors will become less fierce than the first usurper monarch.  Bryan Caplan attributes this view to Gordon Tullock.

Hypothesis C: Any method of orderly succession is better than recurring contests for national leadership.

Hypothesis D: Over time orderly succession becomes difficult to maintain, given the lack of fierceness of the rulers.

Hypothesis E: If you can prevent repeated coup d’etats, you are on your way toward economic growth.


Here is a Jonathan Klick paper on autocracy.  Here is a Daniel Sutter piece on the transition from autocracy.  Here is another painting by Neo Rauch.


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