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Critical Junctures: Independence Movements and Democracy in Africa

  • Wantchekon, Leonard

    (Princeton University)

  • Garcia-Ponce, Omar

    (New York University)

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    We show that current levels of democracy in Africa are linked to the nature of its independence movements. Using different measures of political regimes and historical data on anti-colonial movements, we find that countries that experienced rural insurgencies tend to have autocratic regimes, while those that faced urban protests tend to have more democratic institutions. We provide evidence for causality in this relationship by using rough terrain as an instrument for rural insurgency, and by performing a sensitivity analysis. Finally, the evidence suggests that the adoption of rural insurgency perpetuated the use of violence as a form of conflict resolution.

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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/research/wpfeed/173-2013_wantchekon.pdf
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    Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 173.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:173
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    Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/

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    1. Jess Benhabib & Alejandro Corvalan & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "Reestablishing the Income-Democracy Nexus," NBER Working Papers 16832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," Working Papers 00027, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
    3. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2009. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," NBER Working Papers 14783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede & Ward, Michael D., 2006. "Diffusion and the International Context of Democratization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 911-933, October.
    6. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2007. "Ruggedness: The blessing of bad geography in Africa," Working Papers 2007-09, Instituto MadrileƱo de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 01 May 2010.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Dunning, Thad, 2004. "Conditioning the Effects of Aid: Cold War Politics, Donor Credibility, and Democracy in Africa," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 409-423, April.
    10. Timothy G. Conley & Christian B. Hansen & Peter E. Rossi, 2012. "Plausibly Exogenous," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 260-272, February.
    11. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
    12. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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