Comment on Benjamin Smith (2004): “Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World, 1960-1999”
In “Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World, 1960-1999“ Benjamin Smith examines the effects of oil wealth, as well as of sudden changes in oil prices, on regime failure, political protest and civil war. He finds that oil wealth is robustly associated with more durable regimes, and significantly related to lower levels of anti-state protest and civil war. In this comment, I discuss Smith's empirical approach - especially his treatment of possible reverse causality between conflict and economic performance, his use of the Polity democracy index, and his choice of the resource dependence variable - and provide suggestions for improvement.
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