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Culture, Institutions and Democratization

Listed author(s):
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko
  • Gerard Roland

We construct a model of revolution and transition to democracy under individualistic and collectivist cultures. The main result is that, despite facing potentially larger collective action problems, countries with an individualistic culture are more likely to end up adopting democracy earlier than countries with a collectivist culture. Our empirical analysis suggests a strong and robust association between individualistic culture and average polity scores and length of democracy, even after controlling for other determinants of democracy emphasized in the literature. We provide evidence that countries with collectivist culture are also more likely to experience autocratic breakdowns and transitions from autocracy to autocracy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21117.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 21117.

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Date of creation: Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21117
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  1. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
  2. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  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. Pauline Grosjean, 2014. "A History Of Violence: The Culture Of Honor And Homicide In The Us South," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1285-1316, October.
  5. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  6. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 923-947, May.
  7. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, December.
  8. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Torsten Persson, 2005. "Forms of Democracy, Policy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 11171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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