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Income and Democracy: Comment

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  • Matteo Cervellati
  • Florian Jung
  • Uwe Sunde
  • Thomas Vischer

Abstract

Acemoglu et al. (2008) document that the correlation between income per capita and democracy disappears when including time and country fixed effects. While their results are robust for the full sample, we find evidence for significant but heterogeneous effects of income on democracy: negative for former colonies, but positive for non-colonies. Within the sample of colonies we detect heterogeneous effects related to colonial history and early institutions. The zero mean effect estimated by Acemoglu et al. (2008) is consistent with effects of opposite signs in the different subsamples. Our findings are robust to the use of alternative data and estimation techniques.

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Cervellati & Florian Jung & Uwe Sunde & Thomas Vischer, 2014. "Income and Democracy: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 707-719, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:2:p:707-19
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.2.707
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moral-Benito, Enrique & Bartolucci, Cristian, 2012. "Income and democracy: Revisiting the evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 844-847.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    3. Cervellati, Matteo & Jung, Florian & Sunde, Uwe & Vischer, Thomas, 2012. "Income, Democracy, and Critical Junctures," CEPR Discussion Papers 9259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. David Roodman, 2009. "A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 135-158, February.
    5. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    6. Benhabib, Jess & Corvalan, Alejandro & Spiegel, Mark M., 2013. "Income and democracy: Evidence from nonlinear estimations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 489-492.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Cervellati & Alireza Naghavi & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Trade liberalization, democratization, and technology adoption," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 145-173, June.
    2. Cantore, Nicola & Clara, Michele & Lavopa, Alejandro & Soare, Camelia, 2017. "Manufacturing as an engine of growth: Which is the best fuel?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 56-66.
    3. Dorsch, Michael T. & Maarek, Paul, 2020. "Economic downturns, inequality, and democratic improvements," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    4. BenYishay, Ariel & Betancourt, Roger, 2014. "Unbundling democracy: Political rights and civil liberties," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 552-568.
    5. Brown, Annette N. & Wood, Benjamin Douglas Kuflick, 2018. "Which tests not witch hunts: A diagnostic approach for conducting replication research," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-26.
    6. Jung, Florian & Sunde, Uwe, 2014. "Income, inequality, and the stability of democracy — Another look at the Lipset hypothesis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 52-74.
    7. Casey, Gregory & Klemp, Marc, 2016. "Instrumental Variables in the Long Run," MPRA Paper 68696, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Dorsch Michael T. & Maarek Paul, 2014. "A Note on Economic Inequality and Democratization," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(4), pages 1-12, December.
    9. Daniel Horn & Hubert Kiss Janos & Sára Khayouti, 2020. "Patient democracies?," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2012, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    10. Baerlocher, Diogo & Parente, Stephen L. & Rios-Neto, Eduardo, 2019. "Economic effects of demographic dividend in Brazilian regions," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    11. Rehman, Faiz Ur & Vanin, Paolo, 2017. "Terrorism risk and democratic preferences in Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 95-106.
    12. Michel Cândido de Souza & Lízia de Figueiredo & Mauro Sayar Ferreira, 2021. "The asymmetric evolution of economic institutions: evidence from dynamic panel quantile regression with iv and fixed effects," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG 631, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    13. Casey, Gregory & Klemp, Marc, 2021. "Historical instruments and contemporary endogenous regressors," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    14. Klaus Gründler & Tommy Krieger, 2019. "Should We Care (More) About Data Aggregation? Evidence from Democracy Indices," CESifo Working Paper Series 7480, CESifo.
    15. Michael Jetter & Christopher F. Parmeter, 2016. "Uncovering the determinants of corruption," Working Papers 2016-02, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    16. Rajius Idzalika & Thomas Kneib & Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso, 2019. "The effect of income on democracy revisited a flexible distributional approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 56(4), pages 1207-1230, April.
    17. Michal Madr, 2016. "Economic Development as a Factor of Democratisation: Evidence from Post-Socialist Economies," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-70, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    18. Michael Jetter & Bei Li, 2017. "The Political Economy of Opposition Groups: Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict," CESifo Working Paper Series 6747, CESifo.
    19. Jetter, Michael & Parmeter, Christopher F., 2018. "Sorting through global corruption determinants: Institutions and education matter – Not culture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 279-294.
    20. Jetter, Michael, 2016. "Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict? Understanding the Decision of an Opposition Group," IZA Discussion Papers 9996, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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