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Yet Another Look at the Modernisation Hypothesis: Evidence from Latin America

  • Manoel Bittencourt

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

We investigate in this paper whether the modernisation hypothesis holds in Latin America, and our sample includes nine Latin American countries that re-democratised in the last forty years or so. The data set covers the period between 1970 and 2007, and the results, based on dynamic panel data analysis (we use the Fixed Effects, Fixed Effects with Instrumental Variables, DIF-GMM and SYS-GMM estimators), suggest that the modernisation hypothesis holds in the region, or that income, or development in general, play a positive role on democracy. We also test for the critical junctures hypothesis, or whether particular historical structural changes play any role in contemporaneous democratisation in the region, however we are not able to provide any concrete evidence in favour of it. Essentially, we suggest that a certain level of development is an important condition for democracy to mature and survive, which-- in times of a new democratisation wave taking place in societies with different levels of development-- is a suggestive observation.

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Paper provided by University of Pretoria, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201205.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201205
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  1. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," NBER Working Papers 11204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
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  14. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  16. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
  17. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The century of education," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586751, HAL.
  18. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  19. Murtin, Fabrice & Wacziarg, Romain, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
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