Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements
Posted: 12 Oct 2000
A frequent assertion of economists and political scientists is that democracy is a normal good, or that higher incomes lead citizens to "desire" more democracy. This assertion, however, has been difficult to test directly. I introduce a data set of democratic movements, and use it to address the relationship between income and the demand for democracy. Logit analysis of the estimated probability that a democratic movement occurs in an authoritarian country suggests that this probability is increasing in income per capita up to a level of approximately $5,000. Unlike previous results, this does not suggest that all countries will become democratic once they pass some income threshold.
JEL Classification: O1, D7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation