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Democracy, Dictatorship and Protection of Property Rights


  • Carl Henrik Knutsen


This article investigates how political regimes influence property rights. The article reviews arguments for and against the hypothesis that democracy enhances property rights protection, and then conducts empirical tests. Democracy is likely endogenous to property rights protection. The analysis takes this into account by utilising an innovative instrument for democracy. The results, based on data from 1984 to 2004 for over 120 countries, show that democracy enhances property rights protection, even when controlling for endogeneity and country-specific characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Henrik Knutsen, 2011. "Democracy, Dictatorship and Protection of Property Rights," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 164-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:1:p:164-182
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2010.506919

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks, 2016. "Land Grabbing and Ethnic Conflict," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 243-260, October.
    2. Yeung, Timothy Yu-Cheong, 2017. "Political philosophy, executive constraint and electoral rules," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-88.
    3. Hanna Krings, 2014. "Environmental Aspects of Resource Extraction Contracts," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201434, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Usman Khalid, 2016. "Catch-up in Institutional Quality: An Empirical Assessment," Discussion Papers 2016-04, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    5. Dahlum, Sirianne & Knutsen, Carl Henrik, 2017. "Do Democracies Provide Better Education? Revisiting the Democracy–Human Capital Link," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 186-199.
    6. Andrei S. Akhremenko & Alexander Petrov, 2014. "Efficiency, Policy Selection, And Growth In Democracy And Autocracy: A Formal Dynamical Model," HSE Working papers WP BRP 16/PS/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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