IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iie/wpaper/wp05-5.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Explaining Middle Eastern Authoritarianism

Author

Listed:
  • Marcus Noland

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

Arab political regimes are both unusually undemocratic and unusually stable. A series of nested statistical models are reported to parse competing explanations. The democratic deficit is comprehensible in terms of lack of modernization, British colonial history, neighborhood effects, reliance on taxes for government finance, and the Arab population share. Interpretation of the last variable is problematic: It could point to some antidemocratic aspect of Arab culture (though this appears not to be supported by survey evidence), or it could be a proxy for some unobservable such as investment in institutions of internal repression that may not be culturally determined and instead reflect elite preferences. Hypotheses that did not receive robust support include the presence of oil rents, the status of women, conflict with Israel or other neighbors, or Islam. The odds on liberalizing transitions occurring are low but rising. In this respect the distinction between the interpretation of the Arab ethnic share as an intrinsic cultural marker and as a proxy for some unobservable is important—if the former is correct, then one would expect the likelihood of regime change to rise only gradually over time, whereas if it is the latter, the probabilities may exhibit much greater temporal variability.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Noland, 2005. "Explaining Middle Eastern Authoritarianism," Working Paper Series WP05-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp05-5
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://piie.com/publications/working-papers/explaining-middle-eastern-authoritarianism
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 158-183, December.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:53:y:1959:i:01:p:69-105_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
    5. Przeworski,Adam & Alvarez,Michael E. & Cheibub,Jose Antonio & Limongi,Fernando, 2000. "Democracy and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521793797, May.
    6. Noland, Marcus, 2005. "Religion and economic performance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1215-1232, August.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:89:y:1995:i:04:p:882-897_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Przeworski,Adam & Alvarez,Michael E. & Cheibub,Jose Antonio & Limongi,Fernando, 2000. "Democracy and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521790321, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Arye Hillman, 2007. "Economic and security consequences of supreme values," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 259-280, June.
    2. Tausch, Arno & Heshmati, Almas, 2009. "Asabiyya: Re-Interpreting Value Change in Globalized Societies," IZA Discussion Papers 4459, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Tausch, Arno & Ghymers, Christian, 2011. "Los católicos globales. El primer sondeo global del catolicismo mundial según el “World Values Survey” y el “European Social Survey”
      [Global Catholics. The first global opinion survey of global Cat
      ," MPRA Paper 33228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Mohamad Al-Ississ & Ishac Diwan, 2016. "Preference for Democracy in the Arab World," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(4), pages 16-26.
    5. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2011. "Political Instrumentalization of Islam and the Risk of Obscurantist Deadlock," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 243-260, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    democracy; Middle East; Islam; regime change;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp05-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peterson Institute webmaster). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iieeeus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.