IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/13102.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin F. Jones
  • Benjamin A. Olken

Abstract

Assassinations are a persistent feature of the political landscape. Using a new data set of assassination attempts on all world leaders from 1875 to 2004, we exploit inherent randomness in the success or failure of assassination attempts to identify assassination's effects. We find that, on average, successful assassinations of autocrats produce sustained moves toward democracy. We also find that assassinations affect the intensity of small-scale conflicts. The results document a contemporary source of institutional change, inform theories of conflict, and show that small sources of randomness can have a pronounced effect on history.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," NBER Working Papers 13102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13102
    Note: EFG POL
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13102.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Asaf Zussman & Noam Zussman, 2006. "Assassinations: Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Israeli Counterterrorism Policy Using Stock Market Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 193-206, Spring.
    2. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229.
    4. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 379-414, July.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    7. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2009. "Colonialism and Modern Income: Islands as Natural Experiments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 245-262, May.
    8. de Mesquita, Bruce Bueno & Morrow, James D. & Siverson, Randolph M. & Smith, Alastair, 1999. "An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 791-807, December.
    9. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
    10. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2007. "Political Bias and War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1353-1373, September.
      • Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, "undated". "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    11. 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.
    12. Sandeep Baliga & David O. Lucca & Tomas Sjöström, 2011. "Domestic Political Survival and International Conflict: Is Democracy Good for Peace?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 458-486.
    13. Lipset, Seymour Martin, 1959. "Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy1," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 69-105, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Duha Altindag & Naci Mocan, 2010. "Joblessness and Perceptions about the Effectiveness of Democracy," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 99-123, June.
    2. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2012. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From Micro Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1294-1317, December.
    3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
    4. Doris A. Oberdabernig & Stefan Humer & Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, 2018. "Democracy, Geography and Model Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(2), pages 154-185, May.
    5. Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Economic and social factors driving the third wave of democratization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 365-387, September.
    6. Julia Cagé & Valeria Rueda, 2016. "The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 69-99, July.
    7. Campante, Filipe R. & Chor, Davin, 2014. "“The people want the fall of the regime”: Schooling, political protest, and the economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-517.
    8. Castelló-Climent, Amparo, 2008. "On the distribution of education and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 179-190, October.
    9. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2014. "The democratic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 141-181, June.
    10. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2018. "The rule of law: Measurement and deep roots," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 68-82.
    11. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone & Andrea Tesei, 2012. "Oil Price Shocks, Income, and Democracy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 389-399, May.
    12. Nadia Fiorino & Roberto Ricciuti, 2007. "Determinants of Direct Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2035, CESifo.
    13. 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, August.
    14. Olsson, Ola, 2009. "On the democratic legacy of colonialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 534-551, December.
    15. Joseph Keneck Massil, 2015. "La Théorie de la Modernisation : un Examen Empirique en Afrique," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-19, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    16. Sajad Rahimian, 2021. "The Determinants of Democracy Revisited: An Instrumental Variable Bayesian Model Averaging Approach," Papers 2103.04255, arXiv.org.
    17. Camilo García-Jimeno & James A. Robinson, 2008. "The Myth of the Frontier," NBER Chapters, in: Understanding Long-Run Economic Growth: Geography, Institutions, and the Knowledge Economy, pages 49-88, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Acemoglu, Daron & Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sarvimäki, Matti, 2021. "The Making of Social Democracy: The Economic and Electoral Consequences of Norway’s 1936 Folk School Reform," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/2021, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    19. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2014. "Family Ties," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 177-215, Elsevier.
    20. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 65-100, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    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:nbr:nberwo:13102. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.