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Extreme Bounds of Democracy

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Abstract

There are many stories of democracy but little consensus over which variables robustly determine its emergence and survival. We apply extreme bounds analysis to test the robustness of 59 factors proposed in the literature, evaluating over 3 million regressions. The most robust determinants of the transition to democracy are GDP growth (a negative e ect), past transitions (a positive e ect), and OECD membership (a positive e ect). There is some evidence that fuel exporters and Muslim countries are less likely to see democracy emerge, although the latter finding is driven entirely by oil producing Muslim countries. Regarding the survival of democracy, the most robust determinants are GDP per capita (a positive effect) and past transitions (a negative effect). There is some evidence that having a former military leader as the chief executive has a negative effect, while having other democracies as neighbors has a reinforcing effect.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 09-224.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:09-224

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Keywords: democracy; extreme bounds analysis; regime transition;

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Cited by:
  1. Toke, A.S. & Albornoz, F. & Gassebner, M., 2012. "The Golden Hello and Political Transitions," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1241, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Cho, Seo-young & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2010. "Compliance for big brothers: An empirical analysis on the impact of the anti-trafficking protocol," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 118, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Islam and Democracy," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-10, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  4. Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "Democracy and countries with Muslim majorities: A reply and update," Munich Reprints in Economics 19270, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Friedrichsen, Jana & Zahn, Philipp, 2012. "Political Support in Hard Times: Do People Care about National Welfare?," Working Papers 12-12, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  6. Andersen, Jørgen Juel, 2011. "The form of government and fiscal dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 297-310, June.
  7. Seo-Young Cho, 2012. "Modeling for Determinants of Human Trafficking," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 216, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Martin Gassebner & Simon Luechinger, 2011. "Lock, stock, and barrel: a comprehensive assessment of the determinants of terror," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 235-261, December.
  9. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2013. "Oil and political survival," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 89-106.
  10. Arusha Cooray & Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-01, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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