Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability
AbstractOne of the few stylized facts in international relations is that democracies, unlike autocracies, very rarely fight each other. We examine the sustainability of international peace between democracies and autocracies, where the crucial difference between these two political regimes is whether or not policymakers are subject to periodic elections. We show that the fear of losing office can deter democratic leaders from engaging in military conflicts. Crucially, this discipline effect can only be at work if incumbent leaders can be re-elected, implying that democracies in which the executives are subject to term limits should be more conflict prone. To assess the validity of our predictions, we construct a large dataset on countries with executive term limits. Our analysis of inter-state conflicts for the 1816-2001 period suggests that electoral incentives are indeed behind the democratic peace phenomenon: while democratic dyads are in general less likely to be involved in conflicts than any other dyads, this result does not hold for democracies in which the executive faces binding term limits; moreover, the dispute patterns of democracies with term limits depend on whether the executive is in the last or penultimate mandate.
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Date of creation: 21 Nov 2009
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Other versions of this item:
- Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2008. "Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability," Working Papers ECARES 2008_015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2008. "Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability¤," CEPR Discussion Papers 6908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-12-05 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2009-12-05 (Positive Political Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Are democracies good for peace?
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-11-17 10:06:00
- Limite dei mandati. Costi e benefici
by iMille in iMille on 2011-11-14 11:33:25
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