(Successful) Democracies Breed Their Own Support

79 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2021

See all articles by Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nicolas Ajzenman

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics

Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; King’s College London; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Martin Fiszbein

Independent

Carlos Molina

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students

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Date Written: August 31, 2021

Abstract

Using large-scale survey data covering more than 110 countries and exploiting within country variation across cohorts and surveys, we show that individuals with longer exposure to democracy display stronger support for democratic institutions. We bolster these baseline findings using an instrumental-variables strategy exploiting regional democratization waves and focusing on immigrants' exposure to democracy before migration. In all cases, the timing and nature of the effects are consistent with a causal interpretation. We also establish that democracies breed their own support only when they are successful: all of the effects we estimate work through exposure to democracies that are successful in providing economic growth, peace and political stability, and public goods.

Keywords: democracy, economic growth, institutions, support for democracy, values

JEL Classification: P16

Suggested Citation

Acemoglu, Daron and Ajzenman, Nicolas and Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Fiszbein, Martin and Molina, Carlos, (Successful) Democracies Breed Their Own Support (August 31, 2021). EBRD Working Paper No. 260, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3914843 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3914843

Daron Acemoglu (Contact Author)

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Nicolas Ajzenman

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics ( email )

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Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

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Martin Fiszbein

Independent

Carlos Molina

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
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