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Extreme Bounds of Democracy

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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 S. Aidt & Facundo Albornoz & Martin Gassebner, 2012. "The Golden Hello and Political Transitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3957, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. 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.
  3. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Islam and democracy," Munich Reprints in Economics 19273, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Cooray, Arusha & Potrafke, Niklas, 2011. "Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20110, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Democracy and countries with Muslim majorities: a reply and update," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 323-332, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Andersen, Jørgen Juel, 2011. "The form of government and fiscal dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 297-310, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2013. "Oil and political survival," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 89-106.

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