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Democratization, Violent Social Conflicts, and Growth

  • Cervellati, Matteo

    ()

    (University of Bologna)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    ()

    (University of Munich)

This paper investigates the empirical role of violent conflicts for the causal effect of democracy on economic growth. Exploiting within-country variation to identify the effect of democratization during the “Third Wave”, we find evidence that the effect of democratization is weaker than reported previously once one accounts for the incidence of conflict, while the incidence of conflict itself significantly reduces growth. The results show in turn that permanent democratic transitions significantly reduce the incidence and onset of conflict, which suggests that part of the positive growth effect of democratization arises because democratization reduces conflict incidence. When accounting for the role of violence during democratization, we find evidence that peaceful transitions to democracy have a significant positive effect on growth that is even larger than reported in the previous literature, while violent transitions to democracy have no, or even negative, effects on economic growth.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5643.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5643
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  1. Philip Keefer, 2008. "Insurgency and Credible Commitment in Autocracies and Democracies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 33-61, January.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details," NBER Working Papers 11993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2007. "Democratization And Growth," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 07-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  5. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lars-Erik Cederman & Simon Hug & Lutz F. Krebs, 2010. "Democratization and civil war: Empirical evidence," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 377-394, July.
  7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  8. Antonio Ciccone, 2008. "Economic shocks and civil conflict: A comment," Economics Working Papers 1127, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2011.
  9. Matteo Cervellati & Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Hobbes to Rousseau: Inequality, Institutions and Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1354-1384, 08.
  10. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  11. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Does democracy preempt civil wars?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 445-465, June.
  15. Lotta Harbom & Peter Wallensteen, 2010. "Armed Conflicts, 1946—2009," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 501-509, July.
  16. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  17. Dani Rodrik & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 50-55, May.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
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