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The Transmission of Democracy: From the Village to the Nation-State

  • Paola Giuliano
  • Nathan Nunn

We provide evidence that a tradition of village democracy is associated with the presence of national democracy today. We also show that a tradition of local democracy is associated with attitudes which are more supportive of democracy, with better quality institutions and with higher levels of economic development. Our findings indicate persistence in democratic institutions over time, and suggest the importance of traditional local institutions for well-functioning national-level institutions.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 86-92

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:86-92
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.86
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  1. Nunn, Nathan, 2008. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," Scholarly Articles 3710252, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," NBER Working Papers 12175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Voigtländer, Nico & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2011. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 8365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2013. "Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 113-152, 01.
  5. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2012. "The European origins of economic development," MPRA Paper 39413, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
  7. Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2009. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," NBER Working Papers 14918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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