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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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Suggested Citation

  • 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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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    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. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2011. "Bayesian Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 2590-2615.
    2. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "The Geography of Interstate Resource Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 267-315.
    3. Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2016. "Political stability and trade agreements: Evidence for ‘endgame FTAs’," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-148.
    4. 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.
    5. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2009. "Policymakers' horizon and the sustainability of international cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 549-558.
    6. 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.
    7. Paola Conconi & David R. DeRemer & Georg Kirchsteiger & Lorenzo Trimarchi & Maurizio Zanardi, 2015. "Suspiciously Timed Trade Disputes," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1523, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    8. Michael Jetter & Bei Li, 2017. "The Political Economy of Opposition Groups: Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict," CESifo Working Paper Series 6747, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Vicard, Vincent, 2012. "Trade, conflict, and political integration: Explaining the heterogeneity of regional trade agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 54-71.
    10. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2018. "Electoral incentives, term limits, and the sustainability of peace," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 15-26.
    11. Bove, Vincenzo & Efthyvoulou, Georgios & Navas, Antonio, 2017. "Political cycles in public expenditure: butter vs guns," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 582-604.
    12. Conconi, Paola & DeRemer, David R. & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Trimarchi, Lorenzo & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2017. "Suspiciously timed trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 57-76.
    13. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2011. "The Reasons for Wars: An Updated Survey," Chapters,in: The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2016. "Polarized Education Levels and Civil War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6267, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Rota, Mauro, 2011. "Military Burden and the Democracy Puzzle," MPRA Paper 35254, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Amihai GLAZER & Stef PROOST, 2010. "Reducing rent seeking by providing wide public service," Working Papers Department of Economics ces10.31, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    17. 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.

    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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