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Democratization, Violent Social Conflicts, and Growth

  • Matteo Cervellati

    ()

  • Sunde, Uwe

    ()

This paper investigates the empirical role of violent conflicts for the causal effect of democracy on economic growth. Exploiting within-country variation to identify the effect of democratization during the "Third Wave", we find evidence that the effect of democratization is weaker than reported previously once one accounts for the incidence of conflict, while the incidence of conflict itself significantly reduces growth. The results show in turn that permanent democratic transitions significantly reduce the incidence and onset of conflict, which suggests that part of the positive growth effect of democratization arises because democratization reduces conflict incidence. When accounting for the role of violence during democratization, we find evidence that peaceful transitions to democracy have a significant positive effect on growth that is even larger than reported in the previous literature, while violent transitions to democracy have no, or even negative, effects on economic growth.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1114.pdf
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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1114.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:14
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  1. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20088, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 319-324, May.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2007. "Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 13334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  6. Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 6987, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  9. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Does democracy preempt civil wars?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 445-465, June.
  11. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  12. Dani Rodrik & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 50-55, May.
  13. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
  14. Philip Keefer, 2008. "Insurgency and Credible Commitment in Autocracies and Democracies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 33-61, January.
  15. Lotta Harbom & Peter Wallensteen, 2010. "Armed Conflicts, 1946—2009," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 501-509, July.
  16. Lars-Erik Cederman & Simon Hug & Lutz F. Krebs, 2010. "Democratization and civil war: Empirical evidence," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 377-394, July.
  17. Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 215-27, October.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
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