Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War
AbstractAssassinations are a persistent feature of the political landscape. Using a new dataset of assassination attempts on all world leaders from 1875 to 2004, we exploit inherent randomness in the success or failure of assassination attempts to identify the effects of assassination. We find that, on average, successful assassinations of autocrats produce sustained moves toward democracy. We also find that assassinations affect the intensity of small-scale conflicts. The results document a contemporary source of institutional change, inform theories of conflict, and show that small sources of randomness can have a pronounced effect on history. (JEL D72, N40, O17)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.
Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Other versions of this item:
- Jones, Benjamin & Olken, Benjamin, 2007. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6298, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," NBER Working Papers 13102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
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