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Jumps into democracy: The transition in the Polity Index

Listed author(s):
  • Martin Paldam


    (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark)

  • Erich Gundlach

    (Universit├Ąt Hamburg, Germany)

The Democratic Transition is the process of regime change from authoritarian at the traditional level of development to democratic at the modern level. This process is analyzed on 7,565 pairs of income and political regime data. Regimes are normally in local status quo equilibrium, so they have stepwise stability. The 158 countries are divided in two groups: A small OPEC group, where the transition is skew, and a Main group, where the data show the well-defined long-run path of the Democratic Transition. The distance to the transition path is termed the tension of the regime. The short-run changes are due to triggering events that cause regime jumps. Triggering events are almost random, while most jumps are in the direction of the tension. This mechanism integrates the short and the long run to give the transition.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2016-05.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 04 Jul 2016
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2016-05
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
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