Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change?

85 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2010

See all articles by Paul J. Burke

Paul J. Burke

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Abstract

Does faster economic growth increase pressure for democratic change, or reduce it? Using data for 154 countries for the period 1963-2007, we examine the short-run relationship between economic growth and moves toward and away from greater democracy. To address the potential endogeneity of economic growth, we use variation in precipitation, temperatures, and commodity prices as instruments for a countryメs rate of economic growth. Our results indicate that more rapid economic growth reduces the short-run likelihood of institutional change toward democracy. Output contractions due to adverse weather shocks appear to have a particularly important impact on the timing of democratic change.

Keywords: economic growth, democratization, weather, commodity prices

JEL Classification: D72, N40, O17

Suggested Citation

Burke, Paul J. and Leigh, Andrew, Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4808, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1570426

Paul J. Burke (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory ACT 0200
Australia

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

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