Regime Breakdown

Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Provide Welfare Program?

This paper evaluates why authoritarian regimes design social policies to provide the welfare. I argue that the limited focus on welfare provision in democracies stems from several flawed assumptions about the ability of modern autocracies to create similar programs and the mechanisms behind it. I examine this using data on authoritarian regimes and social policies over the period 1917 to 2000, showing that authoritarian welfare provision depends on the ruling coalition in place.