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Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability¤

Author

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  • Conconi, Paola
  • Sahuguet, Nicolas
  • Zanardi, Maurizio

Abstract

One of the few stylized facts in international relations is that democracies, unlike autocracies, very rarely fight each other. We examine the sustainability of international peace between democracies and autocracies, where the crucial difference between these two political regimes is whether or not policymakers are subject to periodic elections. We show that the fear of losing office can deter democratic leaders from engaging in military conflicts. Crucially, this discipline effect can only be at work if incumbent leaders can be re-elected, implying that democracies in which the executives are subject to term limits should be more conflict prone. To assess the validity of our predictions, we construct a large dataset on countries with executive term limits. Our analysis of inter-state conflicts for the 1816-2001 period suggests that electoral incentives are indeed behind the democratic peace phenomenon: while democratic dyads are in general less likely to be involved in conflicts than any other dyads, this result does not hold for democracies in which the executive faces binding term limits; moreover, the dispute patterns of democracies with term limits depend on whether the executive is in the last or penultimate mandate.

Suggested Citation

  • Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2008. "Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability¤," CEPR Discussion Papers 6908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6908
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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. Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2016. "Political stability and trade agreements: Evidence for ‘endgame FTAs’," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-148.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
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    9. Rota, Mauro, 2011. "Military Burden and the Democracy Puzzle," MPRA Paper 35254, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. 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.
    11. Francesco Caselli, 2012. "The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars," 2012 Meeting Papers 1174, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Michael Jetter & Bei Li, 2017. "The Political Economy of Opposition Groups: Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict," CESifo Working Paper Series 6747, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. 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.
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    15. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2010. "Political Institutions and War Initiation: The Democratic Peace Hypothesis Revisited," Working Papers 101107, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    16. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democratic Peace; Elections; Term Limits;

    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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