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Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability

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  • Paola Conconi
  • Nicolas Sahuguet
  • Maurizio Zanardi

Abstract

Democracies rarely engage in conflicts with one another, though they are not averse to fighting autocracies. We exploit the existence in many countries of executive term limits to show that electoral accountability is the key reason behind this "democratic peace" phenomenon. We construct a new dataset of term limits for a sample of 177 countries over the 1816-2001 period, and combine this information with a large dataset of interstate conflicts. Our empirical analysis shows that, although democracies are significantly less likely to fight each other, democracies with leaders who face binding term limits are as conflict prone as autocracies. The study of electoral calendars confirms the importance of re-election incentives: in democracies with two-term limits, conflicts are less likely to occur during the executive's first mandate than in the last one. Our findings support the Kantian idea that elections act as a discipline device, deterring leaders from engaging in costly conflicts. © 2014 by the European Economic Association.
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  • Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2009. "Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000388, www.najecon.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:814577000000000388
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    1. Limite dei mandati. Costi e benefici
      by iMille in iMille on 2011-11-14 17:33:25

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    Cited by:

    1. Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Democratic Peace And Electoral Accountability," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 997-1028, August.
    2. Mark Harrison & Nikolaus Wolf, 2014. "The Frequency of Wars," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: THE ECONOMICS OF COERCION AND CONFLICT, chapter 5, pages 121-149, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Vicard, Vincent, 2012. "Trade, conflict, and political integration: Explaining the heterogeneity of regional trade agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 54-71.
    4. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "The Geography of Interstate Resource Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 267-315.
    5. Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2016. "Political stability and trade agreements: Evidence for ‘endgame FTAs’," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-148.
    6. Jetter, Michael & Mahmood, Rafat & Parmeter, Christopher F. & Ramirez Hassan, Andres, 2020. "Explaining Post-Cold-War Civil Conflict among 17 Billion Models: The Importance of History and Religion," IZA Discussion Papers 13511, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2009. "Policymakers' horizon and the sustainability of international cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 549-558, April.
    8. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat, 2016. "A time to throw stones, a time to reap: How long does it take for democratic transitions to improve institutional outcomes?," Working Papers CEB 16-016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2018. "Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions," Working Papers wp459, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    10. Paola Conconi & David R. DeRemer & Georg Kirchsteiger & Lorenzo Trimarchi & Maurizio Zanardi, 2015. "Suspiciously Timed Trade Disputes," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1523, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    11. Michael Jetter & Bei Li, 2017. "The Political Economy of Opposition Groups: Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict," CESifo Working Paper Series 6747, CESifo.
    12. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2018. "Electoral incentives, term limits, and the sustainability of peace," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 15-26.
    13. Bove, Vincenzo & Efthyvoulou, Georgios & Navas, Antonio, 2017. "Political cycles in public expenditure: butter vs guns," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 582-604.
    14. Conconi, Paola & DeRemer, David R. & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Trimarchi, Lorenzo & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2017. "Suspiciously timed trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 57-76.
    15. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2011. "The Reasons for Wars: An Updated Survey," Chapters, in: Christopher J. Coyne & Rachel L. Mathers (ed.), The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2016. "Polarized Education Levels and Civil War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6267, CESifo.
    17. Rota, Mauro, 2011. "Military Burden and the Democracy Puzzle," MPRA Paper 35254, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2010. "Political Institutions and War Initiation: The Democratic Peace Hypothesis Revisited," Working Papers 101107, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    19. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2021. "The Tyranny of the Single-Minded: Guns, Environment, and Abortion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 48-59, March.
    20. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Christopher Cotton & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2019. "Polarized education levels and civil unrest," Working Paper 1417, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    21. Matthew DiLorenzo & Becca McBride & James Lee Ray, 2019. "Presidential political ambition and US foreign conflict behavior, 1816–2010," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 36(2), pages 111-130, March.
    22. Hasan, Md Didarul & Lahiri, Sajal, 2015. "A two-period model of natural resources and inter-country conflicts: Effects of trade sanctions," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 5(2), pages 76-100.
    23. Mark Harrison & Nikolaus Wolf, 2014. "The frequency of wars: reply to Gleditsch and Pickering," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(1), pages 231-239, February.
    24. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2018. "Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions," Working Papers wp459, University of Chile, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General

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