IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution

  • Pezzini, Silvia

    (London School of Economics)

  • Robert MacCulloch

A fundamental question about the determinants of civil conflict is the relative importance of political freedoms versus economic development. This paper takes a new approach to provide an answer by using micro-data based on surveys of revolutionary tastes of 130,000 people living in 61 nations between 1981 and 1997. Controlling for personal characteristics, country and year fixed effects, more freedom and economic growth both reduce revolutionary support. Losing one level of freedom, equivalent to a shift from the US to Turkey, increases support for revolt by 4 percentage points. To reduce support by the same amount requires adding 14 percentage points onto the GDP growth rate. Being Muslim in a free country has no effect on the probability of supporting revolt compared to a non-religious person. However being Muslim in a country that is not free increases it by 13 percentage points. Being Christian in a free country decreases the chance of supporting revolt by 4 percentage points, compared to a non-religious person, and in a not-free country by 1 percentage point.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 with number 163.

in new window

Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:163
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9TS, UK

Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio LopezdeSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," NBER Working Papers 7892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
  4. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  5. Skaperdas, S., 1991. "Cooperation, Conflict And Power In The Absence Of Property Rights," Papers 90-91-06a, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  6. Johnson, Simon & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Why do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity After Communism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jack Hirshleifer, 1995. "Theorizing About Conflict," UCLA Economics Working Papers 727, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Bruce Sacerdote & Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "Education and Religion," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1913, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
  11. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Development and Comp Systems 0409007, EconWPA.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I, 1999. "Kleptocracy and Revolutions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 267-83, April.
  13. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  14. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
  15. Ibrahim Elbadawi & Nicholas Sambanis, 2002. "How Much War Will we see?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(3), pages 307-334, June.
  16. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 8267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  19. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
  20. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  21. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  22. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. MacCulloch, Robert, 2003. "The taste for revolt," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 7-13, April.
  24. Jonathan Fox, 1999. "The Influence of Religious Legitimacy on Grievance Formation by Ethno-Religious Minorities," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 36(3), pages 289-307, May.
  25. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
  26. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  27. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  29. Lee Sigelman & Miles Simpson, 1977. "A Cross-National Test of the Linkage Between Economic Inequality and Political Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 21(1), pages 105-128, March.
  30. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  31. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," NBER Working Papers 8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Skaperdas, S., 1990. "Conflict And Attitudes Toward Risk," Papers 90-91-05, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  33. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  34. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  35. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  36. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  37. Evelyne Huber & Dietrich Rueschemeyer & John D. Stephens, 1993. "The Impact of Economic Development on Democracy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 71-86, Summer.
  38. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
  39. Marta Reynal-Querol, 2002. "Political systems, stability and civil wars," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 465-483.
  40. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  41. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
  42. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  43. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2002. "On the Incidence of Civil War in Africa," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 13-28, February.
  44. Tito Boeri & Axel Börsch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Would you like to shrink the welfare state? A survey of European citizens," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 7-50, 04.
  45. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  46. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2000. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-18, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:163. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.