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Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity

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  • Markus Brückner
  • Antonio Ciccone

Abstract

According to the economic approach to political transitions, transitory negative economic shocks can open a window of opportunity for democratic improvement. Testing the theory requires a source of transitory shocks to the aggregate economy. We use rainfall shocks in Sub-Saharan African countries and find that negative rainfall shocks are followed by significant improvement in democratic institutions. Instrumental variables estimates indicate that following a transitory negative income shock of 1 percent, democracy scores improve by 0.9 percentage points and the probability of a democratic transition increases by 1.3 percentage points.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 79 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (05)
Pages: 923-947

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:79:y:2011:i:3:p:923-947

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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Chris Udry & Katherine Czukas, . "Drought and Saving in West Africa: Are Livestock a Buffer Stock?," Working Papers 97013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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  25. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
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