IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy


  • Jeanet Sinding Bentzen
  • Jacob Gerner Hariri
  • James A Robinson


This article documents that indigenous democratic practices are associated with contemporary representative democracy. The basic association is conditioned on the relative strength of the indigenous groups within a country; stronger groups were able to shape national regime trajectories, weaker groups were not. Our analyses suggest that institutions are more likely to persist if they are supported by powerful actors and less likely to persist if the existing power structure is disrupted by, e.g. colonisation. Our findings contribute to a growing literature on institutional persistence and change.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanet Sinding Bentzen & Jacob Gerner Hariri & James A Robinson, 2019. "Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 678-714.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:618:p:678-714.

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:618:p:678-714.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.