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Extreme Bounds of Democracy

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Gassebner

    (ETH Zurich, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, Switzerland
    CESifo, Munich, Germany)

  • Michael J. Lamla

    (ETH Zurich, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, Switzerland)

  • James Raymond Vreeland

    () (Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA)

Abstract

What determines the emergence and survival of democracy? The authors apply extreme bounds analysis to test the robustness of fifty-nine factors proposed in the literature, evaluating over three million regressions with data from 165 countries from 1976 to 2002. The most robust determinants of the transition to democracy are gross domestic product (GDP) growth (a negative effect), past transitions (a positive effect), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development membership (a positive effect). There is some evidence that fuel exporters and Muslim countries are less likely to see democracy emerge, although the latter finding is driven entirely by oil-producing Muslim countries. Regarding the survival of democracy, the most robust determinants are GDP per capita (a positive effect) and past transitions (a negative effect). There is some evidence that having a former military leader as the chief executive has a negative effect, while having other democracies as neighbors has a reinforcing effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gassebner & Michael J. Lamla & James Raymond Vreeland, 2013. "Extreme Bounds of Democracy," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 57(2), pages 171-197, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:57:y:2013:i:2:p:171-197
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; dictatorship; transitions; political regime;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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