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Economic voting and economic revolutionizing? The economics of incumbency changes in European democracies and revolutionary events in the Arab World

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  • Möller, Marie
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    Abstract

    While people in democracies can vote their government out when they are discontent with its policies, those in dictatorships cannot do so. They can only attempt to expel the dictator via mass protests or revolutions. Based on a general cause-and-effect mechanism, the author analyzes whether such mass protests are more likely when the economic situation is poor and vote outs are more likely under bad economic conditions. The empirical analysis provides evidence of economic voting in the European democracies. On the other hand, the results for the Arab World show that economic revolutionizing does not occur there. For this reason, the economics of the Arab Spring are analyzed in greater detail. It can be concluded that bad policy is punished in democracies only. Therefore, by using positive analysis, the investigation demonstrates the malfunctioning of the political market in dictatorships. -- In diesem Aufsatz wird der Zusammenhang von Abwahl- bzw. Revolutionswahrscheinlichkeit und der ökonomischen Performance untersucht. Basierend auf einem allgemeinen Ursache-Wirkungs-Mechanismus werden die Thesen abgeleitet, dass eine schlechte ökonomische Performance zwar die Abwahlwahrscheinlichkeit erhöht, nicht jedoch die Revolutionswahrscheinlichkeit, da das Zustandekommen einer Revolution davon abhängt, ob das Kollektivgutproblem gelöst werden kann. Die empirische Analyse der europäischen Demokratien zeigt, dass eine schlechte ökonomische Performance vor einem Wahltermin häufiger mit einer Abwahl als mit einer Wiederwahl einhergeht. Die Untersuchung für Revolutionen und Aufstände in der arabischen Welt dagegen zeigt, dass dort kein solcher Zusammen-hang besteht, weshalb eine genauere Betrachtung der potentiellen ökonomischen Ursachen des arabischen Frühlings erfolgt. Ausgehend von der Annahme, dass die ökonomische Performance auch ein Maß für die Qualität der Regierungsarbeit ist, liefert die Analyse ein weiteres, nicht normatives Argument für die Überlegenheit von demokratischen Systemen gegenüber nicht-demokratischen, da schlechte Regierungsführung in letzeren nicht unmittelbar bestraft wird.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW) in its series CIW Discussion Papers with number 10/2011.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ciwdps:102011

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    Keywords: economic voting; revolutionary events; Arab Spring; political economy; political protest; degree of democracy; dictatorship; Revolution; Abwahl; Arabischer Frühling; Demokratie; Diktatur; Neue politische Ökonomie;

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    1. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Jenny A. Minier, 2001. "Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 996-1009, April.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    4. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. " The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
    5. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
    6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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