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Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity

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  • Brückner, Markus
  • Ciccone, Antonio

Abstract

According to the economic approach to political transitions, negative transitory economic shocks can give rise to a window of opportunity for democratic change. We examine this hypothesis using yearly rainfall variation over the 1980-2004 period in 41 Sub-Saharan African countries. We find that a 25% drop in rainfall increases the probability of a transition to democracy during the following two years by around 3 percentage points. A 5% fall in income due to low rainfall raises the probability of democratization by around 7 percentage points. We also find that rainfall does not affect transitions from democracy to autocracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Brückner, Markus & Ciccone, Antonio, 2008. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6691, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6691
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    democratization; transitory economic shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General

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