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A farewell to critical junctures: Sorting out long-run causality of income and democracy

  • Erich Gundlach
  • Martin Paldam

    ()

    (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

We consider the empirical relevance of two opposing hypotheses on the causality between income and democracy: The Democratic Transition claims that rising incomes cause a transi¬ tion to democracy, whereas the Critical Junctures hypothesis denies this causal relation. Our empirical strategy is justified by Unified Growth Theory, which hypothe¬sizes that the present international income differences have roots in the prehistoric past. Thus, we use prehistoric measures of biogeography as instruments for modern income levels, and find a large long-run causal effect of income on the degree of democracy. This result rejects the Critical Junctures hypothesis, which is an important part of the Primacy of Institutions view.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2008-04.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2008-04
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2007. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs. the Primacy of Institutions," Kiel Working Papers 1315, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  4. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 13334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  10. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  12. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "The Democratic Transition. A study of the causality between income and the Gastil democracy index," Kiel Working Papers 1459, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  14. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions As The Fundamental Cause Of Long-Run Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002889, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  17. Vani K. Borooah & Martin Paldam, 2006. "Why is the World Short of Democracy? A Cross-Country Ananlysis of Barriers to Representative Government," ICER Working Papers 28-2006, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  18. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
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    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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