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The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution

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  • Robert MacCulloch
  • Silvia Pezzini

Abstract

A fundamental issue for economists is what determines civil conflict. One unsettled question is the relative importance of political freedoms versus economic development. This paper takes a new approach to provide an answer by using micro-data based on surveys of revolutionary preferences of 130,000 people living in 61 nations between 1980 and 1997. Controlling for personal characteristics, country and year fixed effects, more freedom and economic growth both reduce revolutionary support. Losing one level of freedom, equivalent to a shift from the US to Turkey, increases support for revolt by 4 percentage points. To reduce support by the same amount requires adding 14 percentage points on to the GDP growth rate. Being Muslim in a free country has no effect on the probability of supporting revolt compared to a non-religious person. However, being Muslim in a country that is not free increases it by 13 percentage points. Being Christian in a free country decreases the chance of supporting revolt by 4 percentage points, compared to a non-religious person, and in a not-free country by 1 percentage point.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2002. "The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 36, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:36
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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Henrik Knutsen, 2014. "Income Growth and Revolutions," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 95(4), pages 920-937, December.
    2. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 161-185, June.
    3. Andrey Korotayev & Ilya Vaskin & Stanislav Bilyuga & Alina Khokhlova & Anastasia Baltach & Eugeny Ivanov & Kira Meshcherina, 2017. "Economic Development and Sociopolitical Destabilization: A Re-Analysis," HSE Working papers WP BRP 46/PS/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Transparency and Views Regarding Nuclear Energy Before and After the Fukushima Accident: Evidence on Micro-Data," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 761-777, December.
    5. Berazneva, Julia & Lee, David R., 2013. "Explaining the African food riots of 2007–2008: An empirical analysis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-39.
    6. Dehejia, Rajeev & DeLeire, Thomas & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2007. "Insuring consumption and happiness through religious organizations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 259-279, February.
    7. David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Punishment, inequality, and welfare: a public good experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(3), pages 475-502, October.
    8. Fischer, Justina AV, 2010. "Immigration, integration and terrorism: is there a clash of cultures?," MPRA Paper 27690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Bruno S. Frey, 2007. "Overprotected Politicians," CESifo Working Paper Series 2019, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Kiendrebeogo,Youssouf & Ianchovichina,Elena & Kiendrebeogo,Youssouf & Ianchovichina,Elena, 2016. "Who supports violent extremism in developing countries ? analysis of attitudes based on value surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7691, The World Bank.
    11. Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-377, September.
    12. Klaus Abbink & Silvia Pezzini, 2005. "Determinants of Revolt: Evidence from Survey and Laboratory Data," Discussion Papers 2005-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    13. Kung, James Kai-sing & Ma, Chicheng, 2014. "Can cultural norms reduce conflicts? Confucianism and peasant rebellions in Qing China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 132-149.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; freedom; development; growth; religion.;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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