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Culture, Institutions and Democratization

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  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko
  • Gerard Roland

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gerard Roland, 2015. "Culture, Institutions and Democratization," NBER Working Papers 21117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21117 Note: POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
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    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, March.
    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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Willems & Shaun Larcom & Mare Sarr, 2014. "Dictators Walking the Mogadishu Line: How Men Become Monsters and Monsters Become Men," Economics Series Working Papers 701, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat, 2016. "A time to throw stones, a time to reap: How long does it take for democratic transitions to improve institutional outcomes?," Working Papers CEB 16-016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Nikolaev, Boris & Boudreaux, Christopher & Salahodjaev, Rauf, 2017. "Are individualistic societies less equal? Evidence from the parasite stress theory of values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 30-49.
    4. A. Alesina & P. Giuliano., 2016. "Culture and institutions," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 10.
    5. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:456-480 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Conzo, Pierluigi & Aassve, Arnstein & Fuochi, Giulia & Mencarini, Letizia, 2017. "The cultural foundations of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 268-283.
    7. repec:cup:jinsec:v:13:y:2017:i:03:p:575-598_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Raouf Boucekkine & Paolo Giovanni Piacquadio & Fabien Prieur, 2016. "A Lipsetian Theory of Democratization: Development, Education, Inequality, and Resources," CESifo Working Paper Series 6283, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Jonathan F. Schulz, 2016. "The Churches’ Bans on Consanguineous Marriages, Kin-networks and Democracy," Discussion Papers 2016-16, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. Pitlik, Hans & Rode, Martin, 2017. "Individualistic values, institutional trust, and interventionist attitudes," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 575-598, September.
    11. Olsson, Ola & Paik, Christopher, 2015. "Long-Run Cultural Divergence: Evidence From the Neolithic Revolution," Working Papers in Economics 620, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    12. Alessandro Belmonte & Michael Rochlitz, 2017. "Collective Memories, Propaganda and Authoritarian Political Support," HSE Working papers WP BRP 43/PS/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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