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Autocratic Transitions and Growth

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  • Tommaso Nannicini
  • Roberto Ricciuti

Abstract

In this paper we use a transparent statistical methodology – synthetic control methods – to implement data-driven comparative studies about the impact of autocratic transition on real per capita GDP. The applied methodology compares the growth of countries that experienced a transition to autocracy with the growth of a convex combination of similar countries that remained democratic, and it accommodates for the time-varying impact of unobservable heterogeneity. To implement this statistical framework, in a panel of 160 countries, we focus on 14 episodes of transition from democracy to autocracy. We find that the effects of autocratic transitions come in all shapes and sizes, since our data are split in almost equal parts between insignificant, negative, and positive effects. We also find that negative effects tend to get worse over time, and that African countries are badly affected by the autocratic transition possibly because of a resource curse.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-02/cesifo1_wp2967.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2967.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2967

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Related research

Keywords: autocracy; democracy; growth; synthetic control methods;

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References

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2008. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," IZA Discussion Papers 3392, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "Addressing the natural resource curse: An illustration from Nigeria," Discussion Papers 0203-15, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Andreas Billmeier & Tommaso Nannicini, 2009. "Trade Openness and Growth: Pursuing Empirical Glasnost," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 447-475, August.
  4. Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Economic and Social Factors Driving the Third Wave of Democratization," CEPR Discussion Papers 6986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Jody Overland & Kenneth L. Simons & Michael Spagat, 2000. "Political Instability and Growth in Dictatorships," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 354, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  9. 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.
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  14. Alberto Abadie & Alexis Diamond & Jens Hainmueller, 2007. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California's Tobacco Control Program," NBER Technical Working Papers 0335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
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  18. Tommaso Nannicini & Andreas Billmeier, 2009. "Yes You Can, Can’t You? A Statistical Comparison of Economic Liberalizations Around the World," Working Papers 352, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  19. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Maty Konte, 2013. "Why are Women less Democratic than Men? Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 4524, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Flachaire, Emmanuel & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia & Konte, Maty, 2014. "Political versus economic institutions in the growth process," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 212-229.
  3. Vincenzo Bove & Roberto Nisticò, 2014. "Coups d'état and Defense Spending: A Counterfactual Analysis," CSEF Working Papers 366, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Ilaria Petrarca & Roberto Ricciuti, 2014. "Synthetic ‘Real Socialism’: A Counterfactual Analysis of Political and Economic Liberalizations," Working Papers 11/2014, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  5. Ricciuti, Roberto, 2010. "Accumulazione del capitale e crescita economica tra Italia liberale e regime fascista," POLIS Working Papers 141, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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