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Rain and the democratic window of opportunity

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  • Markus Brückner
  • Antonio Ciccone

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Abstract

According to the economic approach to political transitions, transitory negative economic shocks can open a window of opportunity for democratic improvement. Testing the theory requires a source of transitory shocks to the aggregate economy. We use rainfall shocks in Sub-Saharan African countries and find that negative rainfall shocks are followed by significant improvement in democratic institutions. Instrumental variables estimates indicate that following a transitory negative income shock of 1 percent, democracy scores improve by 0.9 percentage points and the probability of a democratic transition increases by 1.3 percentage points.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1114.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1114

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Democratization; transitory economic shocks;

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