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Political Instability and Economic Growth

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Sule Ozler
  • Nouriel Roubini
  • Phillip Swagel

This paper investigates the relationship between political instability and per capita GDP growth in a sample of 113 countries for the period 1950-1982. We define ?political instability? as the propensity of a government collapse, and we estimate a model in which political instability and economic growth are jointly determined. The main result of this paper is that in countries and time periods with a high propensity of government collapse, growth is significantly lower than otherwise. This effect remains strong when we restrict our definition of ?government change? to cases of substantial changes of the government.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4173.

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Date of creation: Sep 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Growth, vol.1, no.2, pp. 189-212, June 1996.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4173
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  1. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," Scholarly Articles 4553030, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "Explaining fiscal policies and inflation in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages S16-S48, March.
  3. Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Policy uncertainty and private investment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 229-242, October.
  4. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," Scholarly Articles 27692664, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Sule Ozler & Guido Tabellini, 1991. "External Debt and Political Instability," NBER Working Papers 3772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  8. Alberto Alesina & John Londregan & Howard Rosenthal, 1991. "A Model of the Political Economy of the United States," NBER Working Papers 3611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
  10. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
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  12. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  13. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "External Debt, Capital Flight and Political Risk," Scholarly Articles 4553019, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Terrones, M., 1990. "Influence Activities And Economic Growth," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9006, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  15. Roubini, Nouriel, 1991. "Economic and political determinants of budget deficits in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages S49-S72, March.
  16. Dick, G William, 1974. "Authoritarian versus Nonauthoritarian Approaches to Economic Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 817-27, July/Aug..
  17. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  19. Cukierman, Alex & Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 537-55, June.
  20. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  21. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Weede, Erich, 1983. "The Impact of Democracy on Economic Growth: Some Evidence from Cross-National Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 21-39.
  23. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1989. "Government Spending and Budget Deficits in the Industrial Economies," NBER Working Papers 2919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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