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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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  1. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Islam and democracy," Munich Reprints in Economics 19273, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. B. Peter Rosendorff, 2001. "Choosing Democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 1-29, 03.
  3. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Harald Oberhofer & Paul Raschky, 2011. "Oil and the duration of dictatorships," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 505-530, September.
  4. Michael L. Nieswiadomy & Mark C. Strazicich, 2004. "Are Political Freedoms Converging?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 323-340, April.
  5. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  7. Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I Just Ran Four Million Regressions," NBER Working Papers 6252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pevehouse, Jon C., 2002. "Democracy from the Outside-In? International Organizations and Democratization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 515-549, June.
  9. Jan Fidrmuc, 2001. "Economic Reform, Democracy and Growth During Post-Communist Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 372, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede & Ward, Michael D., 2006. "Diffusion and the International Context of Democratization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 911-933, October.
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  14. World Bank, 2006. "World Development Indicators 2006," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 8151, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2013. "Oil and political survival," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 89-106.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Islam and democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 185-192, April.
  4. Toke S. Aidt & Facundo Albornoz & Martin Gassebner, 2012. "The Golden Hello and Political Transitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3957, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Democracy and Countries with Muslim Majorities: A Reply and Update," CESifo Working Paper Series 4039, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Seo-Young Cho, 2012. "Modeling for Determinants of Human Trafficking," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 70, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  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. Martin Gassebner & Simon Luechinger, 2011. "Lock, Stock, and Barrel: A Comprehensive Assessment of the Determinants of Terror," CESifo Working Paper Series 3550, CESifo Group Munich.
  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, 2011. "The form of government and fiscal dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 297-310, June.

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