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A farewell to critical junctures: Sorting out long-run causality of income and democracy

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  • Erich Gundlach
  • Martin Paldam

    ()
    (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Abstract

We consider the empirical relevance of two opposing hypotheses on the causality between income and democracy: The Democratic Transition claims that rising incomes cause a transi¬ tion to democracy, whereas the Critical Junctures hypothesis denies this causal relation. Our empirical strategy is justified by Unified Growth Theory, which hypothe¬sizes that the present international income differences have roots in the prehistoric past. Thus, we use prehistoric measures of biogeography as instruments for modern income levels, and find a large long-run causal effect of income on the degree of democracy. This result rejects the Critical Junctures hypothesis, which is an important part of the Primacy of Institutions view.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2008-04.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2008-04

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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Keywords: Long-run growth; democracy; unified growth theory; biogeography;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. " Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-86, September.
  6. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
  7. Borooah, Vani K. & Paldam, Martin, 2007. "Why is the world short of democracy?: A cross-country analysis of barriers to representative government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 582-604, September.
  8. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  9. Oded Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409003, EconWPA.
  10. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2007. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Economics Working Papers 2007-02, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democratic capital: The nexus of political and economic change," Working Papers 308, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
  14. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  15. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  18. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
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    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  19. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "The Democratic Transition. A study of the causality between income and the Gastil democracy index," Kiel Working Papers 1459, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  20. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  21. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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