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Determinants of Democracy

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  • Barro, Robert J.

Abstract

A panel study of over 100 countries from 1960 to 1995 finds that improvements in the standard of living predict increase in democracy, as measured by a subjective indicator of electoral rights. The propensity for democracy rises with per capita GDP, primary schooling, and a smaller gap between male and female primary attainment. For a given standard of living, democaracy tends to fall with urbnization and with a greater reliance on natrual resources. Democracy has little relation to country size but rises with the middle†class share of income. The apparently strong relation of democracy to colonial heritage mostly disappears when the economic variables are held constant. Similarly, the allowance for these economic variables weakens the interplay between democracy and religious affiliation. However, negative effects from Muslim and non†religious affiliations remain intact.

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  • Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3451297
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    1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, February.
    3. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
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