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Do superpower interventions have short and long term consequences for democracy?

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  • Berger, Daniel
  • Corvalan, Alejandro
  • Easterly, William
  • Satyanath, Shanker

Abstract

The United States’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have revived again the phenomenon of “regime change” that was thought to have died with the Cold War. We study Cold War “regime changes” for insight, although of course they do not extrapolate exactly to modern events. The recent declassification of Cold War documents now makes it possible to develop a new time series cross section dataset of superpower interventions during the Cold War which takes account of interventions by the secret services. We find that US interventions to prop up a leader are associated with significant short term and medium term declines in democracy in the intervened country. We observe a similar size effect for Soviet interventions, but they are not robustly significant like US interventions. Although the negative effect of interventions dissipates once the intervention ends, an intervention has a large effect on democracy when it lasts for a long time.

Suggested Citation

  • Berger, Daniel & Corvalan, Alejandro & Easterly, William & Satyanath, Shanker, 2013. "Do superpower interventions have short and long term consequences for democracy?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 22-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:1:p:22-34
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2013.01.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carolyn Chisadza & Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Is Democracy Eluding Sub-Saharan Africa?," Working Papers 201403, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    2. Manoel Bittencourt & Reneé Eyden & Monaheng Seleteng, 2015. "Inflation and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 83(3), pages 411-424, September.
    3. Donoghoe Mark W. & Marschner Ian C., 2015. "Flexible Regression Models for Rate Differences, Risk Differences and Relative Risks," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 91-108, May.
    4. Manoel Bittencourt & Renee van Eyden & Monaheng Seleteng, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth in the SADC: Some Panel Time-Series Evidence," Working Papers 201354, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    5. Aidt, Toke S. & Albornoz, Facundo & Gassebner, Martin, 2018. "The golden hello and political transitions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 157-173.
    6. Manoel Bittencourt, 2013. "Democracy and Education: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community," Working Papers 201387, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    7. Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Education and Fertility: Panel Time-Series Evidence from Southern Africa," Working Papers 201402, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    8. Martínez, Luis R., 2017. "Transnational insurgents: Evidence from Colombia's FARC at the border with Chávez's Venezuela," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 138-153.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; Institutions; Coups; Cold War; CIA;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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