The Geography of Dictatorship and Support for Democracy

60 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2018 Last revised: 9 Aug 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 - Harris Public Policy

Pablo Munoz

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 7, 2019

Abstract

We show that proximity to military bases during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990) exposed civilians to more state repression and led to (i) stronger electoral opposition to Pinochet and (ii) a longlasting strengthening of democratic values. Our empirical strategy exploits the location of military bases during the many decades of democratic rule before the military coup, which we show is unrelated to pre-coup electoral outcomes. We find that residents of counties housing these bases both registered and voted “No” to Pinochet’s continuation in power at higher rates in the crucial 1988 plebiscite that bolstered the democratic transition. These counties also experienced more civilian deaths and forced disappearances during the dictatorship, indicating that increased exposure to repression affected voters’ behavior. After democratization, residents of these counties who were exposed to the military coup report greater support for democracy in surveys, but there are no persistent effects on electoral outcomes

Keywords: dictatorship, repression, democratization, human rights, political attitudes

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 (August 7, 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 - Harris Public Policy ( 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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