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Coups, Regime Transitions, and Institutional Change

Author

Listed:
  • Bennett, Daniel L.

    () (Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise)

  • Bjørnskov, Christian

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Gohmann, Stephan F.

    () (Center for Free Enterprise)

Abstract

Coups and regime transitions are events that typically are intended to change the basic institutional framework of a country. Which specific policies change and the consequences of these changes nevertheless remains largely unknown. Change after a coup or transition implies that some form of political or judiciary barrier has been erected or removed. We therefore focus on what happens to the quality of judicial institutions and political corruption around coup attempts and other types of regime transitions. We hypothesize that when coups are conducted by members of the incumbent political elite, they are likely to remove barriers to change while coup makers outside of the ruling elite are more likely to do the opposite and thus protect themselves from what remains of the elite in the political system. Using the Bjørnskov-Rode coup data, our results suggest that successful coups are associated with degradation of institutions, with successful military coups in particular having a significant negative effect. Results are more varied for civilian coups where we find indications of differences depending on whether the coup makers are part of a political elite or not.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennett, Daniel L. & Bjørnskov, Christian & Gohmann, Stephan F., 2019. "Coups, Regime Transitions, and Institutional Change," Working Paper Series 1281, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1281
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coups; Institutional Quality; Autocracy; Corruption; Judicial Constraints; Regime Transition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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