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How does political instability affect economic growth?

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  • Aisen, Ari
  • Veiga, Francisco José

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to empirically determine the effects of political instability on economic growth. By using the system-GMM estimator for linear dynamic panel data models on a sample covering up to 169 countries, and 5-year periods from 1960 to 2004, we find that higher degrees of political instability are associated with lower growth rates of GDP per capita. Regarding the channels of transmission, we find that political instability adversely affects growth by lowering the rates of productivity growth and, to a smaller degree, physical and human capital accumulation. Finally, economic freedom and ethnic homogeneity are beneficial to growth, while democracy may have a small negative effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Aisen, Ari & Veiga, Francisco José, 2013. "How does political instability affect economic growth?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 151-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:151-167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2012.11.001
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    Keywords

    Economic growth; Political instability; Growth accounting; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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