Regime Types and Regime Change: A New Dataset

27 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Christian Bjørnskov

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Martin Rode

University of Navarra

Date Written: August 18, 2018


Social scientists have created a variety of datasets in recent years that quantify political regimes, but these often provide little data on phases of regime transitions. Our aim is to contribute to filling this gap, by providing an update and expansion of the Democracy-Dictatorship data by Cheibub et al. (2010) with three additional features. First, we expand coverage to a total of 192 sovereign countries and 16 self-governing territories between 1950 and 2016, including periods under colonial rule. Second, we provide more institutional details that are deemed of importance in the relevant literature. Third, we include a new, self-created indicator of successful and failed coups d’état, which is currently the most complete of its kind. We further illustrate the usefulness of the new dataset by documenting the importance of political institutions under colonial rule for democratic development after independence, making use of our much more detailed data on colonial institutions. Findings show that more participatory colonial institutions have a positive and lasting effect for democratic development after transition to independence.

Keywords: Political Regimes, Regime Transitions, Measurement, Colonialism

JEL Classification: N40, P16

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Rode, Martin, Regime Types and Regime Change: A New Dataset (August 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Martin Rode

University of Navarra ( email )

Camino del Cerro del Aguila, 3
Pamplona, Navarra 31080

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