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The economic impact of political instability and mass civil protest

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  • Samer Matta
  • Michael Bleaney
  • Simon Appleton

Abstract

An extensive literature has examined the economic effects of non‐violent political instability events. Nonetheless, the issue of whether economies react differently over time to such events remains largely unexplored. Using synthetic control methodology, which constructs a counterfactual in the absence of political instability, we estimate the output effect of 38 regime crises in the period 1970–2011. A crucial factor is whether crises are accompanied by mass civil protest. In the crises accompanied by mass civil protest, there is typically an immediate fall in output which is never recovered in the subsequent five years. In crises unaccompanied by protest, there are usually no significant output effects. It is unclear, however, whether mass civil protest causes the greater fall in output or is simply an indicator of a more severe political crisis.

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  • Samer Matta & Michael Bleaney & Simon Appleton, 2022. "The economic impact of political instability and mass civil protest," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 253-270, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:34:y:2022:i:1:p:253-270
    DOI: 10.1111/ecpo.12197
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    3. Saha, Shrabani & Sen, Kunal, 2023. "Do economic and political crises lead to corruption? The role of institutions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    4. Dirks, Maximilian & Schmidt, Torsten, 2023. "The relationship between political instability and economic growth in advanced economies: Empirical evidence from a panel VAR and a dynamic panel FE-IV analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 1000, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

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