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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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    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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