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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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Web page: http://www.up.ac.za/economics

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  1. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The century of education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28281, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 13334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fabrice Murtin & null null, 2014. "The democratic transition," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5m0od0o9jn9, Sciences Po.
  4. Jess Benhabib & Alejandro Corvalan & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "Reestablishing the income-democracy nexus," Working Paper Series 2011-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  8. David Roodman, 2007. "A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments," Working Papers 125, Center for Global Development.
  9. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 44-49, May.
  14. 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.
  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. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586751 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
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