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Clear and Clean: The Fixed Effects of the Liberal Peace


  • Oneal, John R.
  • Russett, Bruce


In their article in this issue, Donald P. Green, Soo Yeon Kim, and David H. Yoon claim, contrary to liberal theory and extensive evidence, that neither joint democracy nor economic interdependence significantly reduces the frequency of militarized interstate disputes in pooled time-series analyses when dyadic fixed effects are taken into account. Similarly, their fixed-effects analyses contradict theory and previous evidence that democracies have higher levels of trade with one another than do other types of states. Our reexamination, however, refutes both claims and reinforces previous findings. Their fixed-effects analyses of disputes produces distorted results because they consider a relatively short time period, 1951–92, in which variation in the binary dependent variable and the key independent variables, democracy and trade, is limited. When we analyze a longer period (1886–1992), the results confirm liberal theory. The differences between our analyses of bilateral trade and those of Green, Kim, and Yoon primarily arise from a seemingly minor methodological decision. A more reasonable method confirms that democracies do have higher levels of trade than expected on purely economic grounds. Though we do not advocate a fixed-effects model for analyzing these data and have serious reservations about its general usefulness, our findings provide additional confirmation of liberal theories of international relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Oneal, John R. & Russett, Bruce, 2001. "Clear and Clean: The Fixed Effects of the Liberal Peace," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(02), pages 469-485, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:55:y:2001:i:02:p:469-485_44

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    Cited by:

    1. Bosker, Maarten & de Ree, Joppe, 2014. "Ethnicity and the spread of civil war," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 206-221.
    2. Reuven Glick & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 102-127, February.
    3. Francesco Amodio & Leonardo Baccini & Michele di Maio, "undated". "Security, Trade, and Political Violence," HiCN Working Papers 250, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Sebastian Rosato, 2011. "On the Democratic Peace," Chapters,in: The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Dirk Nabers, 2007. "Crises, Hegemony and Change in the International System: A Conceptual Framework," GIGA Working Paper Series 50, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    6. Sergey Mityakov & Heiwai Tang & Kevin K. Tsui, 2011. "Geopolitics, Global Patterns of Oil Trade, and China¡¦s Oil Security Quest," Working Papers 322011, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    7. Sergey Mityakov & Heiwai Tang & Kevin K. Tsui, 2012. "InternationalPolitics and Import Diversification in the Second Wave of Globalization," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0770, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    8. Aaronson Susan Ariel & Abouharb M. Rodwan & Daniel Wang K., 2015. "The Liberal Illusion Is Not a Complete Delusion: The WTO Helps Member States Keep the Peace Only When It Increases Trade," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 455-484, December.
    9. Maxim Bratersky & Gunes Gokmen & Andrej Krickovic, 2016. "It’S Not the Economy Stupid! Is Russia-Us Trade Really Underdeveloped? A Test Using Gravity Models," HSE Working papers WP BRP 26/IR/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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