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How populist democracy promotes market liberalization

  • Pauline Grosjean

    (UC BERKELEY - Department of Mathematics - UC Berkeley)

  • Claudia Senik

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

Using a new set of micro evidence from an original survey of 28 transition countries, we show that democracy increases citizens' support for the market by guaranteeing income redistribution to inequality-averse agents. Our identification strategy relies on the restriction of the sample to inhabitants of open borders between formerly integrated countries, where people face the same level of market development and economic inequality, as well as the same historically inherited politico-economic culture. Democratic rights increase popular support for the market. This is true, in particular, of inequality-averse agents, provided that they trust political institutions. Our findings suggest that one solution to the recent electoral backlash of reformist parties in the former socialist block lies in a deepening of democracy.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00586284.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586284
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  1. Irina Denisova & Markus Eller & Timothy Frye & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2007. "Who Wants to Revise Privatization and Why? Evidence from 28 Post-Communist Countries," Working Papers w0105, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  2. Grosjean, Pauline & Senik, Claudia, 2007. "Should Market Liberalization Precede Democracy? Causal Relations between Political Preferences and Development," IZA Discussion Papers 2889, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & María Angélica Bautista & Pablo Querubín & James A. Robinson, 2007. "Economic and Political Inequality in Development: The Case of Cundinamarca, Colombia," NBER Working Papers 13208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Keane, M. P. & Prasad, E. S., 2000. "Inequality, Transfers and Growth: New Evidence from the Economic Transition in Poland," Working Papers 00-09, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Roland, G. & Verdier, T., 2000. "Law Enforcement and Transition," DELTA Working Papers 2000-25, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2006. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  9. Hayo, Bernd, 2004. "Public support for creating a market economy in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 720-744, December.
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