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Failed Democracies: Cross-Sectional Analysis on Economic Determinants of Democratic Transitions and on the Role of Electoral Authoritarianism During the Third Wave of Democratization


  • Giorgio Chiovelli

    () (University of Bologna)


What are the economic and social factors behind the democratic transitions during the Third Wave of democratization? Do pre-transition political regimes affect the probability of democratization? This article attempts to answer these two questions for the period known as the Third Wave (1975-2006). With the use of a cross-sectional database of 152 countries and estimates obtained using a probit model, I identify human capital as the engine of democratization. Analyzing the role of electoral authoritarianism (regimes with elections but relying on authoritarian governance practices), I find that these regimes have a strong negative impact on the probability of democratization.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Chiovelli, 2011. "Failed Democracies: Cross-Sectional Analysis on Economic Determinants of Democratic Transitions and on the Role of Electoral Authoritarianism During the Third Wave of Democratization," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 4, pages 71-100, October-D.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:y:2011:i:4:p:71-100

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Michael D. Bordo & Marc Flandreau, 2003. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Globalization," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 417-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Marc Flandreau & Juan H. Flores & Norbert Gaillard & Sebastián Nieto-Parra, 2010. "The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009, pages 53-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
    6. Tamim Bayoumi, 1990. "Saving-Investment Correlations: Immobile Capital, Government Policy, or Endogenous Behavior?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 360-387, June.
    7. Diaz-Alejandro, Carlos, 1985. "Good-bye financial repression, hello financial crash," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-24.
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    More about this item


    democratization; electoral authoritarian regimes; human capital; institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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