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Why is the world short of democracy?: A cross-country analysis of barriers to representative government

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  • Borooah, Vani K.
  • Paldam, Martin

Abstract

This study first uses a set of graphs and tables to present the pattern of democracy in the world, using the Gastil Index. Then a statistical analysis is conducted by two techniques: Regression techniques are used to analyze the effect on democracy of a handful of variables. It shows that poverty, Communism and the Muslim culture are the main barriers to democracy. It then uses Bayesian probability methods to make explicit the concept of the “risk” of countries being ndemocratic. The analysis focuses on the dynamics of the income effect and of the democratic deficit of the Muslim countries to see if it is stationary or transitory. It is unstable, so it may be transitory, but it has been rising.
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Suggested Citation

  • Borooah, Vani K. & Paldam, Martin, 2007. "Why is the world short of democracy?: A cross-country analysis of barriers to representative government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 582-604, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:23:y:2007:i:3:p:582-604
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    1. Jan- Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2005. "Determinants of long-term growth: New results applying robust estimation and extreme bounds analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 597-617, October.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    3. Lipset, Seymour Martin, 1959. "Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy1," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 69-105, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Erwin Bulte & Simon Levin & John List & Steven Pacala, 2003. "False Alarm over Environmental False Alarms," Natural Field Experiments 00499, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Martin Paldam, 2007. "The Pattern of Democracy in the Twentieth Century: A Study of the Polity Index," Chapters, in: José Casas Pardo & Pedro Schwartz (ed.), Public Choice and the Challenges of Democracy, chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Paldam, Martin, 2002. "The cross-country pattern of corruption: economics, culture and the seesaw dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-240, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • P50 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - General

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