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

Listed author(s):
  • Luisa Blanco
  • Robin Grier

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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 45 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 76-95

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:45:y:2009:i:1:p:76-95
DOI: 10.1080/00220380802264788
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