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Autocratic Transitions and Growth

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Author Info

  • 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. 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.
  2. Overland, Jody & Simons, Kenneth L & Spagat, Michael, 2000. "Political Instability and Growth in Dictatorships," CEPR Discussion Papers 2653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Francesco Giavazzi & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Economic and Political Liberalizations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000724, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-42, January.
  6. Alberto Abadie & Alexis Diamond & Jens Hainmueller, 2007. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California's Tobacco Control Program," NBER Working Papers 12831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 13334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details," Working Papers 302, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. 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.
  10. Andreas Billmeier & Tommaso Nannicini, 2009. "Trade Openness and Growth: Pursuing Empirical Glasnost," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 447-475, August.
  11. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. 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.
  13. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  14. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  15. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
  16. Arvind Subramanian & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse," IMF Working Papers 03/139, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Minier, Jenny A, 1998. " Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-66, September.
  18. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  19. Durham, J Benson, 1999. " Economic Growth and Political Regimes," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 81-111, March.
  20. Grossman, Herschel I. & Noh, Suk Jae, 1994. "Proprietary public finance and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 187-204, February.
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Citations

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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," AMSE Working Papers 1319, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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