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Development and Democratization


  • Boix, Carles

    (Princeton University)


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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  • Boix, Carles, 2009. "Development and Democratization," Papers 10-21-2009a, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:prirpe:10-21-2009a

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    2. Anne Boschini & Anders Olofsgård, 2007. "Foreign aid: An instrument for fighting communism?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 622-648.
    3. David Epstein & Robert H. Bates & Jack Goldstone & Ida Kristensen & Sharyn O'Halloran, 2004. "Democratic Transitions," CID Working Papers 101, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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