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Economic Growth and Political Survival

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  • Burke Paul J.

    () (Australian National University)

Abstract

Using data for 162 countries for the period 1962-2006, this paper examines the importance of the national economic growth rate for the ability of a national leader to retain his or her position. To address the potential endogeneity of economic growth, I use commodity prices, export partner incomes, precipitation, and temperature to instrument for a country’s growth rate. The results indicate that faster economic growth increases the short-run likelihood that leaders will remain in office. The results are robust to controlling for a host of leader-, party-, and country-level variables. The effect of growth on the likelihood of leader exits appears to be generally similar across both democracies and autocracies. Economic growth has the largest impact on the likelihood of regular leader exits rather than irregular exits such as coups. Evidence is also presented on whether economic growth affects the likelihood that leaders employ oppressive tactics against opponents.

Suggested Citation

  • Burke Paul J., 2012. "Economic Growth and Political Survival," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:5
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosa C. Hayes & Masami Imai & Cameron A. Shelton, 2015. "Attribution Error In Economic Voting: Evidence From Trade Shocks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 258-275, January.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. Paul J. Burke & Md Shahiduzzaman & David I. Stern, 2015. "Carbon dioxide emissions in the short run: The rate and sources of economic growth matter," CAMA Working Papers 2015-12, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Csereklyei, Zsuzsanna & Stern, David I., 2015. "Global energy use: Decoupling or convergence?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 633-641.
    5. Wang, Qingfeng & Sun, Xu, 2016. "The Role of Socio-political and Economic Factors in Fertility Decline: A Cross-country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 360-370.
    6. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:410-428 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Paul J. Burke, 2014. "Green Pricing in the Asia Pacific: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 561-575, September.
    8. Cüneyt KILIÇ & Feyza BALAN & Unzule KURT, 2015. "Testing the Validity of Political Business Cycle for the Fragile Five Countries," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(605), W), pages 21-32, Winter.
    9. repec:agr:journl:v:4(605):y:2015:i:4(605):p:21-32 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Chen, Junyi & McCarl, Bruce A. & Price, Edwin & Wu, Ximing & Bessler, David A., 2016. "Climate as a Cause of Conflict: An Econometric Analysis," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229783, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Cáceres, Neila & Malone, Samuel W., 2015. "Optimal Weather Conditions, Economic Growth, and Political Transitions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 16-30.
    12. Cáceres, Neila & Malone, Samuel W., 2013. "Forecasting leadership transitions around the world," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 575-591.
    13. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:265-272 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Solomon Hsiang & Marshall Burke, 2014. "Climate, conflict, and social stability: what does the evidence say?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 39-55, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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