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(Successful) Democracies Breed Their Own Support

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Nicolás Ajzenman
  • Cevat Giray Aksoy
  • Martin Fiszbein
  • Carlos A. Molina

Abstract

Using large-scale survey data covering more than 110 countries and exploiting within-country variation across cohorts and surveys, we show that individuals with longer exposure to democracy display stronger support for democratic institutions. We bolster these baseline findings using an instrumental-variables strategy exploiting regional democratization waves and focusing on immigrants’ exposure to democracy before migration. In all cases, the timing and nature of the effects are consistent with a causal interpretation. We also establish that democracies breed their own support only when they are successful: all of the effects we estimate work through exposure to democracies that are successful in providing economic growth, peace and political stability, and public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Nicolás Ajzenman & Cevat Giray Aksoy & Martin Fiszbein & Carlos A. Molina, 2021. "(Successful) Democracies Breed Their Own Support," NBER Working Papers 29167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:29167
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