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Economic voting and economic revolutionizing? The economics of incumbency changes in European democracies and revolutionary events in the Arab World

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  • Möller, Marie

Abstract

While people in democracies can vote their government out when they are discontent with its policies, those in dictatorships cannot do so. They can only attempt to expel the dictator via mass protests or revolutions. Based on a general cause-and-effect mechanism, the author analyzes whether such mass protests are more likely when the economic situation is poor and vote outs are more likely under bad economic conditions. The empirical analysis provides evidence of economic voting in the European democracies. On the other hand, the results for the Arab World show that economic revolutionizing does not occur there. For this reason, the economics of the Arab Spring are analyzed in greater detail. It can be concluded that bad policy is punished in democracies only. Therefore, by using positive analysis, the investigation demonstrates the malfunctioning of the political market in dictatorships.

Suggested Citation

  • Möller, Marie, 2011. "Economic voting and economic revolutionizing? The economics of incumbency changes in European democracies and revolutionary events in the Arab World," CIW Discussion Papers 10/2011, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ciwdps:102011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:64:y:1970:i:01:p:18-34_12 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-173, May.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    4. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. "The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-245, June.
    5. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:53:y:1959:i:01:p:69-105_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jenny A. Minier, 2001. "Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 996-1009, April.
    8. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic voting; revolutionary events; Arab Spring; political economy; political protest; degree of democracy; dictatorship; Revolution; Abwahl; Arabischer Frühling; Demokratie; Diktatur; Neue politische Ökonomie;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General

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