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The Geography of Dictatorship and Support for Democracy

Author

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  • MariÌ a AngeÌ lica Bautista

    (University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy)

  • Felipe GonzaÌ lez

    (Pontificia Universidad CatoÌ lica de Chile, Instituto de EconomiÌ a)

  • Luis R. MartiÌ nez

    (University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy)

  • Pablo Muñoz

    (University of California Berkeley, Department of Economics)

  • Mounu Prem

    (Universidad del Rosario, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We study whether exposure to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile (1973-1990) affected political attitudes and behavior, exploiting the plausibly exogenous location of military bases shortly before the coup that brought Pinochet to power. We show that residents of counties housing military bases both registered to vote and voted “No†to Pinochet’s continuation in power at higher rates in the crucial 1988 plebiscite that bolstered the democratic transition. Counties with military bases also experienced substantially more civilian deaths during the dictatorship, suggesting that increased exposure to repression is an important mechanism driving the larger rates of political participation and regime opposition. Evidence from survey responses and elections after democratization shows that military presence led to long-lasting support for democracy without changing political ideologies or electoral outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • MariÌ a AngeÌ lica Bautista & Felipe GonzaÌ lez & Luis R. MartiÌ nez & Pablo Muñoz & Mounu Prem, 2019. "The Geography of Dictatorship and Support for Democracy," HiCN Working Papers 298, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:298
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    Cited by:

    1. Ethan Kaplan & Fernando Saltiel & Sergio S. Urzúa, 2019. "Voting for Democracy: Chile's Plebiscito and the Electoral Participation of a Generation," NBER Working Papers 26440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    dictatorship; repression; democratization; human rights JEL Classification: D72; N46;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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