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The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution

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  • Robert MacCulloch
  • Silvia Pezzini

Abstract

A fundamental issue for economists is what determines civil conflict. One unsettled question is the relative importance of political freedoms versus economic development. This paper takes a new approach to provide an answer by using micro-data based on surveys of revolutionary preferences of 130,000 people living in 61 nations between 1980 and 1997. Controlling for personal characteristics, country and year fixed effects, more freedom and economic growth both reduce revolutionary support. Losing one level of freedom, equivalent to a shift from the US to Turkey, increases support for revolt by 4 percentage points. To reduce support by the same amount requires adding 14 percentage points on to the GDP growth rate. Being Muslim in a free country has no effect on the probability of supporting revolt compared to a non-religious person. However, being Muslim in a country that is not free increases it by 13 percentage points. Being Christian in a free country decreases the chance of supporting revolt by 4 percentage points, compared to a non-religious person, and in a not-free country by 1 percentage point.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 36.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:36

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Keywords: Conflict; freedom; development; growth; religion.;

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Cited by:
  1. David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Punishment, inequality, and welfare: a public good experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 475-502, October.
  2. Bruno S. Frey, 2007. "Overprotected Politicians," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  3. Justina AV Fischer, 2011. "Immigration, integration and terrorism: is there a clash of cultures?," CEIS Research Paper 182, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 20 Jan 2011.
  4. Dehejia, Rajeev & DeLeire, Thomas & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2007. "Insuring consumption and happiness through religious organizations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 259-279, February.
  5. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Transparency and View Regarding Nuclear Energy Before and After the Fukushima Accident: Evidence on Micro-data," MPRA Paper 46608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2012. "Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?," Working Paper Series 905, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  7. Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-, September.
  8. Klaus Abbink & Silvia Pezzini, 2005. "Determinants of Revolt: Evidence from Survey and Laboratory Data," Discussion Papers 2005-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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