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Income and Democracy: Lipset's Law Revisited

  • Anke Hoeffler
  • Robert H. Bates
  • Ghada Fayad

We revisit Lipset‘s law, which posits a positive and significant relationship between income and democracy. Using dynamic and heterogeneous panel data estimation techniques, we find a significant and negative relationship between income and democracy: higher/lower incomes per capita hinder/trigger democratization. Decomposing overall income per capita into its resource and non-resource components, we find that the coefficient on the latter is positive and significant while that on the former is significant but negative, indicating that the role of resource income is central to the result.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/295.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 17 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/295
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  1. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Phillips, Peter C B & Hansen, Bruce E, 1990. "Statistical Inference in Instrumental Variables Regression with I(1) Processes," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 99-125, January.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  4. Paul J. Burke & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 124-57, October.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  6. Jerry Coakley & Ana-Maria Fuertes & Ron Smith, 2004. "Unobserved Heterogeneity in Panel Time Series Models," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0403, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
  9. Peter Pedroni, 2001. "Purchasing Power Parity Tests In Cointegrated Panels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 727-731, November.
  10. Pesaran, M Hashem, 1997. "The Role of Economic Theory in Modelling the Long Run," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 178-91, January.
  11. Peter C. B. Phillips & Hyungsik R. Moon, 1999. "Linear Regression Limit Theory for Nonstationary Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1057-1112, September.
  12. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  13. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
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