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Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change?

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  • Paul J. Burke
  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

Does faster economic growth increase pressure for democratic change, or reduce it? Using data for 154 countries for the period 1963-2007, we examine the short-run relationship between economic growth and moves toward and away from greater democracy. To address the potential endogeneity of economic growth, we use variation in precipitation, temperatures, and commodity prices as instruments for a country's rate of economic growth. Our results indicate that more rapid economic growth reduces the short-run likelihood of institutional change toward democracy. Output contractions due to adverse weather shocks appear to have a particularly important impact on the timing of democratic change. (JEL D72, E23, E32, O11, O17, O47)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 124-57

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:124-57

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.4.124
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  3. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
  4. Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Does the World Economy Swing National Elections?," CEPR Discussion Papers 485, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Weak Instruments: Diagnosis and Cures in Empirical Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 118-125, May.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  7. Jan Dehn, 2000. "Commodity price uncertainty in developing countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944, December.
  9. Tang, Sam Hak Kan & Yung, Linda Chor Wing, 2008. "Does rapid economic growth enhance democratization? Time-series evidence from high performing Asian economies," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 244-253, June.
  10. Dehn, Jan, 2000. "Commodity price uncertainty in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2426, The World Bank.
  11. Jan Dehn, 2000. "Commodity Price Uncertainty in Developing Countries," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  13. Richard Tiffin & Xavier Irz, 2006. "Is agriculture the engine of growth?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 79-89, 07.
  14. Zak, Paul J. & Feng, Yi, 2003. "A dynamic theory of the transition to democracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-25, September.
  15. Jenny A. Minier, 2001. "Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 996-1009, April.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Growth and democratic change: there is no free lunch
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-03-05 13:22:00
  2. Ger ökad tillväxt demokratisering?
    by Niclas Berggren in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-03-26 04:31:44
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