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Autocratic Transitions and Growth

  • Tommaso Nannicini
  • Roberto Ricciuti

In this paper we use a transparent statistical methodology – synthetic control methods – to implement data-driven comparative studies about the impact of autocratic transition on real per capita GDP. The applied methodology compares the growth of countries that experienced a transition to autocracy with the growth of a convex combination of similar countries that remained democratic, and it accommodates for the time-varying impact of unobservable heterogeneity. To implement this statistical framework, in a panel of 160 countries, we focus on 14 episodes of transition from democracy to autocracy. We find that the effects of autocratic transitions come in all shapes and sizes, since our data are split in almost equal parts between insignificant, negative, and positive effects. We also find that negative effects tend to get worse over time, and that African countries are badly affected by the autocratic transition possibly because of a resource curse.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2967.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2967
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  1. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  2. Jody Overland, Kenneth Simons and Michael Spagat, 2003. "Political Instability and Growth in Dictatorships," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 03/11, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Dec 2003.
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  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details," Working Papers 302, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Minier, Jenny A, 1998. "Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-66, September.
  10. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  11. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2013. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 570-615, August.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2008. "A theory of military dictatorships," POLIS Working Papers 100, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  13. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
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  15. Tommaso Nannicini & Andreas Billmeier, 2009. "Yes You Can, Can’t You? A Statistical Comparison of Economic Liberalizations Around the World," Working Papers 352, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  16. Besley, Timothy J. & Kudamatsu, Masayuki, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 6371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Grossman, Herschel I. & Noh, Suk Jae, 1994. "Proprietary public finance and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 187-204, February.
  18. repec:pal:imfstp:v:56:y:2009:i:3:p:447-475 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
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