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Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity

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  • Markus Bruckner
  • Antonio Ciccone

Abstract

According to the economic approach to political transitions, transitory negative economic shocks can open a window of opportunity for democratic improvement. Testing the theory requires a source of transitory shocks to the aggregate economy. We use rainfall shocks in Sub-Saharan African countries and find that negative rainfall shocks are followed by significant improvement in democratic institutions. Instrumental variable estimates indicate that following a transitory negative income shock of 1 percent, democracy scores improve by 0.9 percentage points and the probability of a democratic transition increases by 1.3 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Bruckner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Working Papers 1010, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:bbv:wpaper:1010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    transitory economic shocks; democratization;

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General

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