Some Empirics of Socio-Economic Transitions. Estimating the Common Pattern
The agricultural transition, the demographic transition and the democratic transition explain the development paths of the share of agriculture, the population growth rate, and the standard democracy indices. We demonstrate that two related estimation models give contradictory results when applied to data for these transitions over half a century and 150 countries. One model shows that the long-run change in the transition variable is caused by income. The other model shows that the relation between income and the transition variable is spurious. The contradicting results lead to reflections on appropriate approaches for identifying causality in development.
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