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Development and Domcratization

  • Boix, Carles

    (Princeton University)

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    Current studies, mainly focused on the postwar period, are split on the impact of development on democracy. Examining panel data that runs from early nineteenth century (a time where hardly any democracy was in place) to the end of the twentieth century, I show income matters positively for democratization--both after controlling for country and time effects and instrumenting for income. Since the effect of time partly varies over time, with some historical periods that are more favorable to democracy than others, I investigate the domestic variables (a decreasing marginal effect of growth in already developed economies) and international factors (the strategies of great powers toward small countries) generating that result. I finally probe the underlying processes through which income shapes political institutions, showing that development produces key changes in the distribution and nature of wealth that, in turn, make democracy a stable political outcome.

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    Paper provided by Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy in its series Papers with number 10-21-2009a.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:prirpe:10-21-2009a
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://weblamp.princeton.edu/rppe/papers/papers.php

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    1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Anne Boschini & Anders Olofsg�rd, 2007. "Foreign aid: An instrument for fighting communism?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 622-648.
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