Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity
25 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2008
Date Written: October 12, 2008
According to the economic approach to political transitions, negative transitory economic shocks can open a window of opportunity for democratic change. Testing the theory requires a source of transitory shocks to the aggregate economy. We rely on rainfall shocks in Sub-Saharan African countries. Our analysis yields that negative transitory shocks lead to significant democratic change. A transitory 10 percent drop in income is followed by an improvement in democracy scores of 9 percentage points, and by an increase in the probability of a transition to democracy of 13 percentage points.
Keywords: Democratization, transitory economic shocks
JEL Classification: O0, P0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation