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Income and Democracy: Revisiting the Evidence

  • Enrique Moral-Benito
  • Cristian Bartolucci

It is well-known in the literature that income per capita is strongly correlated with the level of democracy across countries. In an influential paper, Acemoglu et al. (2008) find that this linear correlation disappears once they control for country-specific effects focusing on within-country variation. In this paper we find evidence of a non-linear effect from income to democracy even after controlling for country-specific effects. While a positive effect emerges for poor countries, this effect vanishes for rich countries.

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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 204.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:204
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  1. Bhargava, Alok & Sargan, J D, 1983. "Estimating Dynamic Random Effects Models from Panel Data Covering Short Time Periods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1635-59, November.
  2. Enrique Moral-Benito, 2011. "Dynamic panels with predetermined regressors: likelihood-based estimation and Bayesian averaging with an application to cross-country growth," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1109, Banco de Espa�a.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Benedikt Heid & Julian Langer & Mario Larch, 2011. "Income and democracy:Evidence from system GMM estimates," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 118, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
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  7. Erich Gundlach & Martin Paldam, 2008. "A farewell to critical junctures: Sorting out long-run causality of income and democracy," Economics Working Papers 2008-04, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  8. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
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  11. Zak, Paul J. & Feng, Yi, 2003. "A dynamic theory of the transition to democracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-25, September.
  12. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  14. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  15. Jess Benhabib & Alejandro Corvalan & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "Reestablishing the Income-Democracy Nexus," NBER Working Papers 16832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hillier, Grant H, 1990. "On the Normalization of Structural Equations: Properties of Direct Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1181-94, September.
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