Stairways to Denmark: Does the Sequence of State-Building and Democratization Matter for Economic Development?

72 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2018

See all articles by Haakon Gjerløw

Haakon Gjerløw

University of Oslo, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Students

Carl Henrik Knutsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science

Tore Wig

University of Oslo

Matthew Charles Wilson

West Virginia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

Building effective state institutions before introducing democracy is widely presumed to improve different development outcomes. We discuss the assumptions that this prominent "stateness-first" argument rests upon and how extant studies fail to correctly specify the counter-factual conditions required to test the argument. In extension, we subject the argument to three sets of tests focused on economic development as the outcome, leveraging new measures of democracy and state institutional features for almost 180 polities with time series extending back to 1789. First, we run standard panel regressions with interactions between state capacity and democracy. Second, we employ coarsened exact matching, specifying and testing different relevant counter-factuals embedded in the stateness-first argument. Finally, we employ sequencing methods to identify historically common sequences of institutional change, and use these sequences as growth predictors. We do not find any evidence supporting the stateness-first argument in either of these tests.

Suggested Citation

Gjerløw, Haakon and Knutsen, Carl Henrik and Wig, Tore and Wilson, Matthew Charles, Stairways to Denmark: Does the Sequence of State-Building and Democratization Matter for Economic Development? (August 2018). V-Dem Working Paper 2018:72. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3229983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3229983

Haakon Gjerløw (Contact Author)

University of Oslo, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Moltke Moesvei 31
Oslo
Norway

Carl Henrik Knutsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

Moltke Moesvei 31
Olso, 0851
Norway

Tore Wig

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

Matthew Charles Wilson

West Virginia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

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