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Income and Democracy*

* This paper has been replicated

Author

Listed:
  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Simon Johnson
  • James A. Robinson
  • Pierre Yared

Abstract

Existing studies establish a strong cross-country correlation between income and democracy but do not control for factors that simultaneously affect both variables. We show that controlling for such factors by including country fixed effects removes the statistical association between income per capita and various measures of democracy. We present instrumental-variables estimates that also show no causal effect of income on democracy. The cross-country correlation between income and democracy reflects a positive correlation between changes in income and democracy over the past 500 years. This pattern is consistent with the idea that societies embarked on divergent political-economic development paths at certain critical junctures.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:808-42
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.808
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, December.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    7. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
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    Replication

    This item has been replicated by:
  • Alexander L. Lundberg & Kim P. Huynh & David T. Jacho‐Chávez, 2017. "Income and Democracy: A Smooth Varying Coefficient Redux," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(3), pages 719-724, April.
  • More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Income and Democracy (AER 2008) in ReplicationWiki
    2. Economic Logic blog

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