Economic Growth, Political Institutions, and Leadership Transitions

40 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2011 Last revised: 21 Jan 2012

See all articles by Samuel W. Malone

Samuel W. Malone

University of the Andes

Neila Cáceres

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - School of Management

Date Written: January 20, 2012

Abstract

Leaders matter for growth, but does growth matter for leaders? We introduce a set of strong instruments for growth, based on hill-shaped relationships of agricultural output with temperature and precipitation, to test the causal effect of growth on national leadership turnover, after controlling for educational, demographic, and a range of institutional and policy factors. We find that: (i) growth significantly reduces the probability of leadership transitions, (ii) transitions to democracy robustly accompany leadership transitions after controlling for growth, policies, and institutions, and (iii) during times of major institutional change, growth has a less precise but substantially positive effect on leadership transitions.

Keywords: Political transitions, leaders, economic growth, political economy

JEL Classification: C53, H89

Suggested Citation

Malone, Samuel W. and Cáceres, Neila, Economic Growth, Political Institutions, and Leadership Transitions (January 20, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1950448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1950448

Samuel W. Malone (Contact Author)

University of the Andes ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Neila Cáceres

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - School of Management

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogotá
Colombia

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