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Long Live Democracy: The Determinants of Political Instability in Latin America

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  • Luisa Blanco
  • Robin Grier

Abstract

We investigate the underlying causes of political instability in a panel of 18 Latin American countries from 1971-2000. We test whether regime type, regime durability, factionalism, income inequality, ethnic diversity, ethnic discrimination, regional spillover effects, urban growth and macroeconomic variables matter for instability. We find several important results: (1) democracy has a significant negative effect on instability that is robust to several alternative specifications; (2) factionalised political systems experience higher instability; (3) income inequality, ethnic fractionalisation, and urban growth have important nonlinear effects on instability; and (4) of the macroeconomic variables we study, only openness to trade has a significant negative effect on instability.

Suggested Citation

  • Luisa Blanco & Robin Grier, 2009. "Long Live Democracy: The Determinants of Political Instability in Latin America," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 76-95.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:45:y:2009:i:1:p:76-95
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380802264788
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    16. Asongu, Simplice A. & Uduji, Joseph I. & Okolo-Obasi, Elda N., 2019. "Homicide and social media: Global empirical evidence," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    17. Asongu, Simplice & Uduji, Joseph & Okolo-Obasi, Elda, 2020. "Political instability and political terror: global evidence on persistence," MPRA Paper 103147, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Nabamita Dutta & Deepraj Mukherjee, 2016. "Do Literacy And A Mature Democratic Regime Cure Corruption?," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 1-26, June.
    19. Jean P. Sepúlveda & Claudio A. Bonilla, 2014. "The factors affecting the risk attitude in entrepreneurship: evidence from Latin America," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(8), pages 573-581, May.
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    21. Ishak Phoebe W., 2019. "Autocratic Survival Strategies: Does Oil Make a Difference?," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 25(2), pages 1-22, May.
    22. Sajad Rahimian, 2021. "The Determinants of Democracy Revisited: An Instrumental Variable Bayesian Model Averaging Approach," Papers 2103.04255, arXiv.org.
    23. Daryna Grechyna, 2018. "Shall We Riot Too? The Geographical Neighbor Impact on Political Instability," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 581-612, November.
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    25. Gurgul, Henryk & Lach, Łukasz, 2012. "Political instability and economic growth: Evidence from two decades of transition in CEE," MPRA Paper 37792, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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