The Geography of Dictatorship and Support for Democracy

76 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2018 Last revised: 26 Mar 2019

See all articles by Maria Angelica Bautista

Maria Angelica Bautista

University of Chicago

Felipe González

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Institute of Economics

Luis R. Martinez

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies

Pablo Munoz

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: March 21, 2019

Abstract

We study whether exposure to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile (1973-1990) affected political attitudes and behavior, exploiting the plausibly exogenous location of military bases shortly before the coup that brought Pinochet to power. We show that residents of counties housing military bases both registered to vote and voted “No” to Pinochet’s continuation in power at higher rates in the crucial 1988 plebiscite that bolstered the democratic transition. Counties with military bases also experienced substantially more civilian deaths during the dictatorship, suggesting that increased exposure to repression is an important mechanism driving the larger rates of political participation and regime opposition. Evidence from survey responses and elections after democratization shows that military presence led to long-lasting support for democracy without changing political ideologies or electoral outcomes.

Keywords: dictatorship, repression, democratization, human rights

JEL Classification: D72, N46

Suggested Citation

Bautista, Maria Angelica and González, Felipe and Martinez, Luis and Munoz, Pablo and Prem, Mounu, The Geography of Dictatorship and Support for Democracy (March 21, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3249606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3249606

Maria Angelica Bautista

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Felipe González (Contact Author)

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Institute of Economics ( email )

Casilla 76
Correo 17
Santiago
Chile

Luis Martinez

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Pablo Munoz

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

579 Evans Hall
Berkeley, CA 94709
United States

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 14 # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

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