IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/13992.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Superpower Interventions and their Consequences for Democracy: An Empirical Inquiry

Author

Listed:
  • William Easterly
  • Shanker Satyanath
  • Daniel Berger

Abstract

Do superpower interventions to install and prop up political leaders in other countries subsequently result in more or less democracy, and does this effect vary depending on whether the intervening superpower is democratic or authoritarian? While democracy may be expected to decline contemporaneously with superpower interference, the effect on democracy after a few years is far from obvious. The absence of reliable information on covert interventions has hitherto served as an obstacle to seriously addressing these questions. The recent declassification of Cold War CIA and KGB documents now makes it possible to systematically address these questions in the Cold War context. We thus develop a new panel dataset of superpower interventions during the Cold War. We find that superpower interventions are followed by significant declines in democracy, and that the substantive effects are large. Perhaps surprisingly, once endogeneity is addressed, US and Soviet interventions have equally detrimental effects on the subsequent level of democracy; both decrease democracy by about 33%. Our findings thus suggest that one should not expect significant differences in the adverse institutional consequences of superpower interventions based on whether the intervening superpower is a democracy or a dictatorship.

Suggested Citation

  • William Easterly & Shanker Satyanath & Daniel Berger, 2008. "Superpower Interventions and their Consequences for Democracy: An Empirical Inquiry," NBER Working Papers 13992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13992
    Note: POL
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13992.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2002. "On the Incidence of Civil War in Africa," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 13-28, February.
    2. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
    3. Jeremy Weinstein, 2005. "Autonomous Recovery and International Intervention in Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 57, Center for Global Development.
    4. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    5. James Meernik, 1996. "United States Military Intervention and the Promotion of Democracy," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 33(4), pages 391-402, November.
    6. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:04:p:779-801_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. de Mesquita, Bruce Bueno & Downs, George W., 2006. "Intervention and Democracy," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 627-649, July.
    9. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    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. Aidt, Toke & Albornoz, Facundo & Gassebner, Martin, 2010. "The Golden Halo and Political Transitions," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 48, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    2. Oeindrila Dube & Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia," Working Papers 197, Center for Global Development.
    3. Roberto Bonfatti, 2017. "An economic theory of foreign interventions and regime change," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(1), pages 306-339, February.
    4. Aidt, Toke S. & Albornoz, Facundo, 2011. "Political regimes and foreign intervention," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 192-201, March.
    5. Albornoz, Facundo & Hauk, Esther, 2014. "Civil war and U.S. foreign influence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 64-78.
    6. Mathieu Couttenier & Raphael Soubeyran, 2010. "Civil War in a Globalized World: Diplomacy and Trade," Working Papers 10-02, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Feb 2010.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

    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:nbr:nberwo:13992. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://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 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.